Bowling League Strikes Up Friendships for People with Disabilities
A unique bowling league in Brooklyn Park and St. Louis Park is helping local residents with disabilities strike a common bond. Beth Amlicke has a developmental disability but there’s no doubt she’s a natural in bowling. “I know how to get a split, strike, spare. My highest score was 159,” Amlicke said.
While Amlicke is knocking down pins, she’s also striking up friendships with everyone in the room. The competitive bowler said sports gives her a reason to be out and exercise. “It makes me feel like I’m doing something constructive,” Amlicke explained.
It’s all thanks to a nonprofit organization called Reach for Resources. “Reach for Resources offers a variety of recreation programs and bowling happens to be one of them,” explained Caren Hansen with Reach for Resources. For decades, the organization has offered everything from basketball to dance and movie nights for people with disabilities and mental illness.
“There’s something for everyone. And it really is meant to help people gain confidence, build social skills and interact with the community,” said Hansen. The Fall session for bowling started in September and lasts 8 weeks. Hansen said dozens of people show up every weekend. “Its really amazing to see the transformation in some people,” Hansen said.
It includes people like Amlicke, who are gaining independence and feeling like a part of the community. “I feel really good that I did something that I really wanted to do and win,” Amlicke said. Registration for the Winter program begins October 1. It costs $44 to $52, depending on where you live.