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Tenpin Bowling is a sport beloved by people of all ages, with a fun and buzzy atmosphere that’s accessible for all ages.
But now the sport is becoming even more accessible as Bowl Abilities kicks off at ZONE Bowling Tuggeranong.
Designed to meet the needs of teens and adults with intellectual disabilities, Bowl Abilities is a fun and inclusive program for those who want to learn how to bowl in a social environment.
Across eight sessions, participants will fall in love with the skill and speed of bowling, with an atmosphere that’s mindful of their unique needs, such as utilising carpets over the top of lanes, meaning bowlers can get up to nine metres closer to the pins.
As Emily Rennes, Sport Development & Programs Manager for Tenpin Bowling Australia explains, Bowl Abilities covers everything bowling enthusiasts (or newbies!) need to know to hit those coveted strikes.
“After a free try, participants can register online to complete eight sessions. In each of the eight, one hour, sessions a coach will take you through the many aspects of learning how to bowl—which hand, foot, direction, how to target the head pin and adjust for a left or right hand spare…A strike is the ultimate, but we build up to that moving further away from the pins as our skills increase.”
These eight sessions are just $40 in total—and are half-price until June 2021!—with each session supervised by a ‘Lane Ranger’.
One such Lane Ranger is ACT Representative Bowler and three-time medalist at national events Tess Dyer, who says she loves seeing bowling bring joy to people’s lives.
“Bowling is an all-inclusive sport where the young can play alongside with the old and the able body can play alongside those with a recognised disability,” says Tess.
“Canberra currently has two large disability leagues and each and every bowler in these leagues love their sport and it is an important part of their routine in their daily life.”
While Tess fell in love with bowling as a child growing up in Rockingham, Western Australia, she fell back in love with the sport in Canberra after some time away and is now part of a leagues in Tuggeranong and Belconnen, beginning to represent the ACT from 2015.
For Tess, bowling is the ultimate sport when it comes to versatility.
“Bowling is a sport that you can be young or old and you can take very serious or just have a lot of fun.”
“I have observed over the years of how important bowling is for the physical and mental wellbeing of people with a disability and programs like this in Canberra can encourage more people to take up the sport.”
As for whether participants need prior bowling, sport or physical activity experience in order to join Bowl Abilities, Emily says “absolutely not!”
“We welcome people of all abilities, backgrounds, experiences,” she says. “Bowling is a really fun sport and it truly is for ‘every body’. We can modify the experience to suit your strengths.”
She also adds that Bowl Abilities also welcomes participants with vision impairment or in wheelchairs.
“We can have wheelchairs on the lanes, use ramps for mobility, handle balls for lighter grip and bumpers to keep the ball rolling straight.”
To learn more about Bowl Abilities sessions, check out bowlabilities.com.au or if you have a group who might want to bowl together for their initial (free!) session, contact email@example.com or call 0468 645 431.
Tenpin Bowling Australia is also looking for people who would be interested in completing online training to become Lane Rangers. Just head to bowlabilities.com.au/lane-ranger.