By Joey McWilliams
BRYAN COUNTY – The Red River Area of Special Olympics in Oklahoma is once again hosting its bowling tournament.
For the second year, the tournament, which is having its competition Tuesday and Wednesday, will be hosted by The District.
Teams from the Red River Area include: Antlers, Atoka, Durant High School, Durant Middle School, Durant Intermediate School, Durant Northwest Heights Elementary, Hugo, Madill, Marietta and Silo.
Karyn Pierce, the Silo ISD Special Olympics Director, said it is the third year for her school to get to attend.
“We have 18 participants going, ranging anywhere from the age of 8 to 18,” Pierce said. “We are very excited about that, to get them in. You can start participating at age 8 and below that, 7 and younger, are called the Young Stars, and we’ve had a couple participate in that.”
Likely it helps to have people involved in the sport already who can provide a natural excitement for the kids. Jami Ellis, a special education teacher at Silo elementary, is an avid bowler according to Pierce, who said this event is ‘right up her alley.’
“We have an adaptive P.E. class every day,” Pierce said. “Coach (Blake) West gets out there and we have some plastic bowling pins and a plastic bowling ball and usually about mid-September we start bowling. And with all of our 18 participants, we do not have any that bowl with the bumpers and so that is a big improvement for us this year that we are very excited about.
The participants get to bowl two games with the average score taken for placement in the district for awards. Also, The District partners with Papa John’s Pizza for a discounted rate for pizza, a drink and a dessert for the participants.
The contingent from Silo will be competes on Wednesday and Pierce said they are excited to be there.
“It’s just an awesome, awesome experience for, especially kids that don’t get to experience that kind of event or even get to go out to The District. It’s just a fun atmosphere and we love it.”