Each Tuesday at the Spare Time Bowling, Lowry's Special Olympic athletes are practicing for the bowling section of the Special Olympics.
Pam Barber is the Area Director and the Head Coach and has been for four years. Shelley Wells is the Assistant Coach and there are peer coaches: Leann Barber, Anthony Barber, Breanna Barber, Kyle Cline, Eli Cunningham, Taylor Gleason, and Mary-Kate Barber.
Pam Barber explained what sports the athletes participate in and when they are held.
"Track and Field takes place during the spring, Bowling in the fall, Football takes place in the summer and Basketball in the winter. For each sport we practice for eight to twelve weeks then we compete in Reno at State event," said Pam. "For each state event athletes travel to Reno and stay overnight at the Circus Circus for Basketball, Football and Bowling. For the Track and Field event athletes stay in the UNR dorms. Athletes ride a charter bus to each of the events and dine in restaurants. Athletes will compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Each event has an opening ceremony and a dance."
The students have been practicing bowling since the last week in October, every Tuesday and Thursday, and are looking forward to the rest of the sports that are yet to come.
According to coach Barber, the practice is paying off for the athletes.
"Bowling practice takes place at Spare Time and athletes participate at no expense to them. They bowl two games a week for practice. Basketball practice takes place in various gyms around town. Last year was our first year participating in the state basketball competition and we won our tournament. Track and Field practice takes place at Lowry High School and the state competition take place in Reno at UNR or Reno High. This year was our first year to participate in Football and we practiced at Highland Park. Next year the athletes will participate in the State Football competition in Reno. Athletes in all sports will compete at the state level with athletes from all over Nevada," she said.
There is also an adult team that they practice with them and most participate in all four sports.
"We have an adult team and a student Special Olympics team. The students can start participating when they are eight years old and can continue to compete through adulthood. We have an athlete that is in their sixties. The majority of the athletes compete in all four sports," said Pam.
The students will be competing in the bowling section on December 15-16 and according to Wells, they'll be excited whether or not they win.
"The students are just amazing. They definitely show another side of sportsmanship and support that you don't usually see," said Wells.
The student team: Everardo Carrillo, Aaron Garrison, Dillon Maestrejuan, Jordan Benson, Frank Quinn, Hunter Darlington, Mykenzie McMaster, Jackson Cook, Jesse O'Sloan, Tyler Mischell, Paul Marley, Jesse Richardson, Nathan Mischell, and Christopher Bryant.