Northern Ontario youth bowlers off to national championship

A group of bowlers in Sault Ste. Marie is getting ready to represent northern Ontario at the 2022 Canadian Youth Bowling Championships.

Josh Wooley, Ema Bowen, Noah Pringle, Olivia Solomon, Aidan Bass and Ethan Raymond will be heading to Winnipeg later this month to take part in team, doubles and singles events.

"Now it’s about practice and preparing them for different shots that they’re going to be facing at a national, and just tweaking and working on spares, stuff like that," said coach Tim Bass.

Each of the competitors has been bowling most of their lives and they all have their favourite aspect of the sport.

"Just getting out in the lanes and socializing," Wooley said. "I think one of the big parts to bowling is being able to make friends, being able to meet new people."

"It’s kind of like the jack-of-all-trades of sport," Bowen said. "You can go out with your friends and do it or you can take it seriously."

Others said they’re following in the footsteps of their parents or grandparents.

"My parents grew up doing it all the time and I always heard family stories about it and I knew it was a fun thing to come and do with my friends and knowing it can be competitive, too," Solomon said.

Bass, who has competed at the nationals several times, is a third-generation competitive bowler. He said bowling is an inclusive sport.

"You don’t have to be the biggest, strongest, fastest person," Bass said. "Anybody can get out and bowl and that’s what I love the most."

The Canadian Youth Championships run May 18-23. Also coming up this summer is the Youth Bowling Council Championships, which get underway July 10 in Thunder Bay.