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Youth bowling offers more than just sports skills

Youth bowlers can experience fun, friendship and a great sport by joining the Youth Bowling League at Sparwood Bowl and Billiards.  - J.Jensen
Youth bowlers can experience fun, friendship and a great sport by joining the Youth Bowling League at Sparwood Bowl and Billiards.
— image credit: J.Jensen

 Kids and teens who are looking for fun, exercise and a great learning experience can now begin registration for the youth bowling season. This sport is unique in many ways and offers player so much more than learning the skills of the sport. Any child of any athletic capability can play and coaching is tailored to each player on an individual basis, while kids still get to experience the fun and connection of being part of a team. "We do alter our coaching based on each child, some enjoy bowling more for the fun of it, while others prefer to play the sport more competitively," says Coach and Sparwood Bowl and Billiards Owner, MP Dave Wilks. "We don't push any of kids to play competitively, the kids decide if that is something they would like to do or not," he says.

Youth bowling opens to kids from ages five to eighteen, and no previous bowling skills are needed to join. Training begins at the very basic two handed throw and progresses to the most advanced techniques. "The coaches are amazing and really committed to the kids and the sport," says Wilks. "This year's coaches will be Bob and Glen Stockey, David Graham, myself and possible one other coach as well. A big part of our program is also pairing the younger players with the older ones, allowing the more senior players to mentor the younger ones," he says.

The  Youth Bowling League will practice on Wednesdays at two times for players to choose from starting at 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. or 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Sign up and registration will begin at the Community Information and Registration night, or parents may contact Sparwood Bowl and Billiards for an alternative sign up time. The cost of registration is $60,which includes a t-shirt, free game passes and entry into the youth bowling league, which qualifies participants to enter into tournaments. There is also a fee of $320 for bowling for the season, and a 10% discount is applied to those that pay upfront. Parents of players are also welcome to attend a Level 1 Coaching Clinic when it comes up to help them gain knowledge of the sport and training techniques. Parents are encouraged to stay and watch while their child plays.

 Youth bowlers also obtain much more than just bowling skills over the season. Through the program, friendships are created and the self esteem of players is always heightened. "There is a really great social aspect of youth bowling, some kids join just to play and socialize," says Wilks.  "You know, I am not really sure of any other sport besides bowling where kids as young as five can go to National Finals where everything is completely paid for, and those that have lived in the Elk Valley, know that the Youth Bowling program produces top notch bowlers who have consistently attended and excelled at tournaments," he says.

 "We feel that in the world of sports, sometimes bowling may be overlooked. It is such a great thing for kids to be engaged in, and we really encourage all youth to get involved." he says.

 For more information on the League or to register please contact Dave or Cindy at Sparwood Bowl and Billiards at 250.425.2522, or stop by the Alley located at 101-1290 Ponderosa Drive, Sparwood.  

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