My grandmother weighed about 100 pounds, smoked like a steam engine, and in my mind’s eye wasn’t exactly “athletic,” but the woman could flat out bowl. She had a closet full of bowling shirts, bowling shoes in a variety of colors, and two bowling balls, which she carried in beautiful leather bags. She bowled in a league and cherished her “bowling night” like no other night of the week.
As I got older, I would debate with my grandmother whether bowling was even a sport. “It is a recreational GAME,” I would tell her. “Basketball, track, volleyball, cycling – those are sports. You can’t eat, drink, and carry on conversation while competing in a sport!” “Balance, coordination, strength, and skill are all key ingredients of a sport,” she would say. We debated for years, until I realized that no matter how she or I chose to categorize it – bowling was then and continues to be one of America’s most enjoyable past-times!
In the next three weeks 742 Special Olympics New Mexico bowlers will compete at the North Regional Bowling Tournament in Albuquerque and the Holiday Classic in Las Cruces. That would be almost 200 more athletes than last year. More participants – more dreams fulfilled – more happy moments – more friendships made – more families celebrating – more volunteers learning – more communities involved. Sport, game, or just maybe a little of both, Special Olympics bowling is offering our athletes and everyone else who shows up a time of accomplishment, fun, and celebration.
With a smile on my face and fond memories of my grandmother, I look forward to seeing you on the lanes.