On Saturday, October 5th, the Just 4 Fun bowling league held their first week of play at Sunset Lanes in Portsmouth.
The league, which just began their ninth year of playing, was started in 2010 by Pam Bell and Teresa Ketchell. Michelle King, who runs the District 11 Challenger Baseball League, came on board two years to help run the league as well.
Just 4 Fun, along with the Challenger Baseball League ran by King and the Challenger Basketball League ran by Pam’s husband, Michael Bell, is designed for children and young adults with disabilities to be able to have fun with their friends and at the same time keeping their bodies and minds active.
“We like to keep them busy all year around with a sport” said Pam Bell, “This is their chance to come together and be active in a sport, and it gives them the chance to hang out with their pals.”
Those with disabilities who are participants in the league meet every other weekend at Sunset Lanes through the end of February.
Bell acknowledged how accommodating that Sunset Lanes has been to allow the league to continue into its ninth season,“If it wasn’t for them, back when we started the league, it wouldn’t have grown to the numbers it has today. They’ve been very helpful in this whole process.”
All participants in the Just 4 Fun bowling league were given customized shirts with their names on them. Each player was designated into their own teams, usually grouped with their friends, and their shirts would match that of their teammates, a quick identifier of who is on what team for the league organizers.
“These kids tend to, like any other child, stay in their rooms, play on their computer, Xbox, or tablet” said King, “This helps them with their social skills, keeps them active and keeps them socializing.”
This year, the Just 4 Fun bowling league has seen an increase in numbers with nine new-comers joining the fold.
Josh Haney, a 15-year old who is in the ninth grade at Portsmouth High School, is one of those nine new competitors in the ninth year of the Just 4 Fun league.
“It’s really fun to do,” Haney said. “Seeing the people with disabilities having fun and everyone coming together and having fun, it’s a good time.”
For more information about the Just 4 Fun bowling league, visit the Just 4 Fun Bowling Facebook page or stop by Sunset lanes at the league’s next date of play, Saturday, October 19th at 3 p.m.
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