728 x 90

Youth bowling program underway at Parkway Lanes

img

The fall youth bowling program is well underway, with about 40 children registered.
The program began in early October and runs every Wednesday for advanced bowlers and every Thursday for the fun division, though organizers will still accept any who wish to join the program.
According to Frank Scinocca, owner and operator of Parkway Lanes in Dauphin, there have been junior programs in the past.
“But it hasn’t been quite this big,” he stated.
Scinocca is most pleased to see 11 high school students involved in the program’s competitive group.
“And we need that, because at the end of the year, I intend on putting the high school players in the high school competition in Winnipeg,” he said.
According to Scinocca, the tournament in Winnipeg began with about four teams from the Manitoba capital and has grown to include about 30 teams.
“So I want to add to that from Dauphin and make a showing. We’ve got some really good up-and-coming bowlers,” he said.
“And they’re anxious to have Dauphin in. They really are, because we haven’t been there. It’s been a few years since we’ve been in competition.”
Scinocca attributes the program’s growth to a resurgence in the sport’s popularity.
“It’s strange how it goes. Some years are really, really popular and then others are low in registrations,” he said.
“I don’t really know the reason for it. But I know in some of the sports, they’re putting a lot of youths in the adult leagues to help fill the adult leagues.”
Scinocca would rather keep youth in the youth divisions rather than competing with adults.
“Because there are plenty of high school opportunities now, without having to go into competition with adults,” he said.
When it comes to accepting children into the program, Scinocca said there really is no deadline and they will not turn anyone away.
“And then we’ll just prorate it for the remainder of the season, because we’re going to run another course in the spring,” he said.
The program’s fall and spring sessions run for about nine-weeks.
One of the features of the program is the offer of private one-on-one lessons at no additional cost.
“A lot of the bowlers have been taking advantage of that. They’re coming in Monday after school, Tuesday after school, Wednesday after school. And so that’s really good,” Scinocca said, noting it is difficult to provide one-on-one lessons during the program’s normal schedule because of all the distractions.
“But when we’re one-on-one or in small groups, we accomplish quite a bit. So we encourage the kids to take advantage of that. And the parents have been good in bringing the kids down,” he said, adding the program has about four regular coaches and four part-time coaches.
Scinocca notices the children have a lot of fun and are smiling and laughing a lot. And while they are having fun, they are also picking up what the coaches are trying to teach them.
“I can even point out some of the things we’re doing that may not be obvious to the parents. But I can tell when they’re using the starting position, the finishing position and when they’re swinging the ball in rhythm with their steps. I can see that,” he said.
“And some of the kids are very natural at it and others catch on. They all seem to catch on in the end.”
The fall session will end in December, while the spring session will likely begin after the Christmas season is over.
Scinocca tries to schedule the program so that children taking part can also participate in other sports.
“And it won’t interfere with their school work. This program is for five years olds through to 21 and some of those high schools kids need to spend time with their homework and studying,” he said.
“We don’t want to interfere with that and yet we’re encouraging all of the kids to participate in as many other sports as their parents will allow them to join. Because I think they become better bowlers if they curl, play baseball, play hockey, play all the other sports. Their motor skills become so good, that they are better in each sport.”
Scinocca is currently trying to arrange for a friendly competition against youth bowlers from Brandon, though nothing has been worked out yet.

img
Doug Zywina
REPORTER
img