Adapted bowling state tournament

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photo courtesy of Nancy Galligan

On Friday, May 20, two Highland students placed 1st in our State Adapted Bowling Tournament in the Singles Division: Kyra Kracth and Connor O’Meara. Eyna Linn and Minh Dang came in third place.

Adaptive Bowling is a sport that helps children with disabilities, or disadvantages, participate in the sport much easier. There are many different types of equipment to help athletes, like the set up, the physical approach to the foul line, the back swing and the guided release of the ball. For an easier approach, the adaptive bowling devices have been divided into three main categories; wheelchair adaptations, bowling ball adaptations and ball rolling adaptations. Depending on the type, and severity, of the person’s disability, one or more of these devices might be necessary for them to be able to bowl.

To determine which adaptions are appropriate for each student, the following steps should be taken: evaluate each student’s present level of bowling skill for probability of success, assess previous experience, fitness level, motor functioning, attitude toward his/her disability, and willingness to participate.

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photo courtesy of Nancy Galligan

I interviewed Ms. Nell, a teacher at Highland Park that specializes in helping children with disabilities, who is also coach of the Highland adapted bowling team. She told me that they prepare by, “We bowl every week practicing lining up the bowling balls onto the straight arrows.” She also explained how she has encouraging talks with her students, but she prefers to call them her kids. When I asked what was one of the hardest parts for them, Ms. Nell said it was focusing and also keeping the ball straight.

I asked how hard it was for her to coach the kids she simply said, “I’ve been doing this for years so it’s really not hard I enjoy it.” I was also curious about how her experience has been through doing this for multiple years. She replied with, “This has allowed me to see how my kids can grow in many different ways in not only this, but in many different sports.”

I also spoke a bit with the state champion Connor O’Meara he said, “It felt great.” Also, “The last time I won state champion was in 2007.”

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photo courtesy of Nancy Galligan

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