Cameron Perry– Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- Bowling is one of the most popular sports in the Special Olympics, due to fact that it ensures physical exercise and at the same time participation and social integration.
The Unified Club does not participate as athletes, instead, they help athletes with the lane and ramp assistance. Bowling is held on Saturdays at Bowlero Lanes.
The Unified club is a Special Olympics club for all students. Its purpose is to introduce students to the Special Olympics and let them experience the fun of all-inclusive sports.
“I love volunteering at the Bowling events. Seeing the wide smiles on all of their faces when they do what they love makes my day,” said Unified Club president senior Brooke Roberts.
There are individual and team events, with the team including two athletes with and two athletes without an intellectual disability.
Because many athletes who participate in Special Olympics cannot compete in other high school activities, events like these give them a safe place where they can show off their skills, in an environment where there is no judgement.
The athletes train all year for the events, with coaches and a set practicing schedule. Many of them bring their own shoes and bowling ball. As they have been training all year, many teams are very good which can lead to more competition opportunities including the next level of the competition, whether that be states, regionals, nationals, or even Internationals.
Bowling is chance for athletes and volunteers to meet new people and make new friends, while also improving their motor skills and physical capabilities.