With competition coming up in March, the Brewster High School Unified Bowling Team is getting ready to roll. They held their first practice at Spins Bowling Alley in Carmel and even had their fingers measured for their own bowling balls.
“Our students each have very different hands and fingers, so this is really great,” said Donna Schneider, the team’s coach, who also happens to be the Assistive Technology Specialist for the District and an Instructional Technology Specialist at the high school.
Jack Pizzicara, the pro at Leading Edge Pro Shop, spent time with each student, making sure the width and length of each of their three fingers were properly measured so that he can drill each hole correctly.
Brewster’s Unified team consists of 10 athletes and seven student partners. Special Olympics Unified Sports combines people with and without intellectual disabilities on sports teams for training and competition. In March, the team will play against other Unified teams in New York’s Section 1 region, including Carmel, Mahopac, and Peekskill.
In preparation for the competition in March, the students are busy practicing. They are learning basic bowling skills and rules, such as not stepping over the line; bowling etiquette; and how to to problem solve while bowling.
During gym class, Coach Mike Castaldo is using rubber bowling balls and weights to help the students develop forearm strength.
The excitement builds as they practice.
Jade Jones is looking forward to having her own “bowling bag” and to getting “100 pins down.”
“I got a strike,” said Brianna Roberts. “I can’t wait to get my eight-pound ball.”
Christian Pinel said, “In the past I used balls from the alley. This year I am excited because this ball will be made just for me. And it will have my name on it.”