POINT EDWARD – The Pin Pals are back to pre-pandemic levels.
Special Olympics Sarnia’s bowling team had about 48 players in 2019, but that figure dropped to just two teams of 12 for the following two years.
“We’re now back to our full contingent and we even got six new players that hadn’t been with us before this year,” team manager Anne Lannan said. “They’re all excited to be back.”
About 35 Pin Pals showed up Saturday afternoon to Marcin Bowl in Point Edward for a Hometown Games event featuring their group and a squad from Lasalle-Windsor. Abby Zalewski, Special Olympics Ontario’s Hometown Games events co-ordinator, said the goal is to get people back to in-person competitions.
“Really small localized competitions,” she said.
The provincial organization offers host grants and bring staff on site.
“We’re really trying to take the pressure of the competition off and just say, ‘Get together and have fun,’ because that’s all that matters,” she said.
Sarnia hosted a Hometown Games soccer event back in July in Corunna, but this was the first bowling competition it’s hosted this year.
“So that’s exciting,” she said.
Koty Alkerton, 26, from Sarnia was excited to compete for the Pin Pals.
“I’m going to win,” he said with a smile.
The Sarnia squad has 48 players that practice weekly at Hi-Way Bowl in Sarnia. Alkerton, a team member for the past three years, said he missed a couple of practices due to work.
“But I still feel like I’ll do really good,” he said.
It was a friendly competition with players mixed amongst various teams, but they posted individual scores. Medals were up for grabs and results were expected to be posted on the group’s Facebook page.
Sarnia resident Regan Knowles said she was excited to play, but she wasn’t too worried about her scores.
“It’s just a fun activity to do,” she said. “Very social.”