Special Olympics bowlers set to hit the lanes for state meet
The 2020 Delaware Special Olympics state bowling championships will take place this Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Brunswick Doverama, located inside the Rodney Village Shopping Center in Dover.
Action is set to get under way at 8:30 a.m., with the first of three sessions for the day. In the morning, bowlers will knock down the pins from 8:30 to 11 a.m. There is a 90-minute intermission between each session, with the second group hitting the lanes from 12:30 to 3 p.m. The final group will begin at 4:30 p.m. and wrap up around 6:30 p.m.
“Bowling is one of our most popular sports across the state,” said Kyle Frazer, Special Olympics Delaware (SODE) director of sports. “One of the neatest things about our athletes participating in bowling is that they can then transfer what they learn when they have opportunities to bowl with friends and family in the community. We hear stories all the time from our parents about how great it is that their kids fit right on at a bowling birthday party or some other bowling event outside of Special Olympics.”
Following months of training, including many having to participate in regional events just to qualify for the state tournament, more than 375 Special Olympics athletes and their Unified partners (peers without a disability) from up and down the First State will compete in the annual competition.
The event includes singles, doubles, Unified doubles, bumper and ramp divisions for the competition.
Locally, the Sussex Riptide will have members from their team participating. In addition to the Riptide, bowlers include children and adults representing other areas of Delaware, including the Wilmington Wizards, the Newark Dragons, the MOT Tigers and Kent Wild Kats.
All of the bowlers competed at area-level events in early January before advancing to the state tournament. An opening ceremony will take place at the beginning of each shift, and medals will be awarded at the end of each.
Polar Bear Plunge set for Feb. 2
Another SODE event coming up in just a few weeks is the Annual Lewes Polar Bear Plunge at Rehoboth Beach. Scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 2, at 1 p.m., the plunge features thousands of other brave souls for the “coolest” thing they will likely do all year.
Held annually on the first Sunday in February, the plunge has grown into a Delaware tradition, and is the largest fundraiser for the Delaware Special Olympics.
To participate, individuals commit to raising $75 for the Special Olympics, which makes them “official” plungers, and gets them an event hoodie. Those who commit to raising $250 or more will get a special embroidered towel commemorating the event. Potential plungers can also pre-register with a non-refundable $10 donation — in case they get cold feet!
Last year, there were 3,544 plungers who helped raise more than $906,000 for the Delaware Special Olympics. They braved the 43-degree weather while splashing into the Atlantic Ocean waters that measured 39 degrees.
As of the Coastal Point’s press deadline mid-week, there were 2,067 plungers registered for the event.
For more information on all the festivities, check out their website at www.plungede.org.
By Jason Feather