In the Just 4 Fun Bowling League for children with disabilities, there are no limits just sheer fun. Just 4 Fun will meet at Sunset Lanes, 2330 17th Street in Portsmouth on Sept. 17, at 3 p.m.
Michael Bell, president of the Scioto County Autism Project, and a volunteer of Just 4 Fun Bowling, said the League was formed to provide recreation for children with disabilities.
“Tomorrow will be the first bowling of the season for our group, it’s called the Just 4 Fun Bowing League for Children with Disabilities,” Bell said. “It was created six years ago by my wife Pam and her friend Theresa Ketchel1. They put it together to give children with disabilities something to do in Scioto County throughout the winter. So they have the bowling league, and kids get to come out and just be kids.”
To observe the progression of the youthful bowlers is great to see, Bell said.
“The awesome thing is when you see an individual come in, who has maybe never bowled before, so when they bowl the bowl with the bumpers, and they excel over to the non-bumpers,” Bell said. “Then to see them excel even more, and begin to make strikes, so you get to see that transformation, and it is just phenomenal. Also, with some of the kids that may have difficulty in social skills, to see that transformation is just great. That is what it is all about.”
The bowling activities allow the children to interact with one another.
“One of the main objectives for these activities is to get the children to socialize with other children, but also their siblings also have the opportunity to be on the league, so they are just one big team, everybody together,” Bell said. “Another goal is to help the children to enhance their social skills with other kids. It also helps them in that it gives them something physical to do, so it is sort of like a physical therapy. So, not only does it help in a variety of ways, and assists the child, but it also assists the parents, because it gives the parents someone else to talk to that has a child with disabilities that understands what they’re going through. So it draws brings the parents together as well to socialize with other parents.”
Just 4 Fun Bowling League has 60 participating bowlers, and is held every second Saturday at 3 p.m. at Sunset Bowling Lanes in Portsmouth, and glady welcomes new members.
Michelle Bentley, is a parent of two sons who actively participate in the Just 4 Fun Bowling League.
“I have an autistic child who is involved, and because this isn’t a league for just autistic children, it is for all disabilities and children that don’t have a disability can play together,” Bentley said. “So, my oldest son and my youngest son play on the same league, and it is pretty neat, they really enjoy it. I think it is amazing because with the social stigma associated with autism, you don’t realize that they have any problems when they are on the field, whether it is on the baseball field, or the bowling alley they are just typical kids playing and having a good time, and I think that is what is best.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.