|
|
|
Morning Sun
  • Special Olympics Bowling

  • Thursday in Pittsburg was a fun and happy day for 150 Special Olympians. They came to Holiday Lanes from all over southeast Kansas to participate in the annual southeast Kansas regional youth bowling competition. More than 200 adult Special Olympians competed there Wednesday.

    • email print
  • Thursday in Pittsburg was a fun and happy day for 150 Special Olympians. They came to Holiday Lanes from all over southeast Kansas to participate in the annual southeast Kansas regional youth bowling competition. More than 200 adult Special Olympians competed there Wednesday.
    The competition has been held annually in Pittsburg for well over 30 years, said Holiday Lanes owner Kenny Lynch, who has owned the alley for 28 years since he took it over in 1984. It’s a tradition Lynch said he relishes.
    “For us it’s one of our two most special days of the year,” Lynch said. “We get to see the joy and enthusiasm on their faces and showing off their medals. It’s just a great day.”
    The athletes came from as far away as Coffeyville and Independence, and are members of various support agencies, said Tim Rehder, senior vice president of sports for southeast Kansas. Any of the athletes that participated also are eligible to attend the statewide meet in Kansas City later this year. The bowling season begins at the start of the school year, Rehder continued.
    “They go to around Thanksgiving, then they make the transition into basketball season,” he said.
    Monica Maus, a paraeducator at Pittsburg High School and a sponsor for Interlocal District No. 637, said the athletes enjoy interacting with each other.
    “They can dance and socialize with athletes from other schools,” she said.
    One of her students, Pittsburg High School junior Morgan Rewarts, agreed.
    “It’s awesome,” she said. “I think it will be fun to come back.”
    Bella Stemm, a junior at Riverton High School, shared Rewarts’ sentiment.
    “I just like hanging out with my friends and bowling,” Stemm said.
    The volunteers have fun, too. Pittsburg High School junior Adam Laskares said he wasn’t anywhere else he’d rather be.
    “I like having fun, and everyone’s happy here,” said Laskares, who also volunteers for Special Olympics golf. “It’s the perfect place to be. Everyone’s got a smile on their face.”
    Laskares said if given a chance he would volunteer for the regional track and field event in the spring.
    “I’m going to try,” he said. “It would be really cool if I could.”
      • calendar