Westside’s Unified Bowling team has been competing for 2 years. Westside teacher and coach Mark Pokorny feels as though unified bowling allows students who represent a variety of ability levels to compete together and also enjoy what they are doing.
“The season contains four matches and a district championship,” Pokorny said. “The highlights were not only winning our first match, but remaining an energetic and enthusiastic team through the season.”
The Unified Bowling team allows students of all ability levels to bowl together. Junior Gracie Berentson is part of the team and has been positively impacted by Unified Bowling.
“I heard about project unify at first, so I was going to join the club,” Berentson said. “They had a project unify bowling team and I thought it sounded really fun so I decided to try it out.”
Berentson, along with 21 other Westside students, practice twice a week and usually have one match a week. Westside’s home bowling alley is Mocking Bird Lanes, but the team travels to other alleys when their matches are not home matches.
“It is your own team of three, you and two kids that have special needs,” Berentson said. “When we bowl one of them would go first, then I would go, then the third person on our team would go. Your team score counts as you bowling six games, switching off people, and adding up all of your points at the end to make your final score.”
Unified Bowling team has been a way for students to come together and bowl in a fun and relaxed environment.
“I think my favorite part is when they bowl a strike or they bowl well and get super excited about it,” Berentson said. “They all have these huge smiles on their faces and it’s just so fun to see.”
Unified Bowling team has created long-lasting relationships between students and their coaches.
“Coaching the team has impacted me in a positive way,” Pokorny said. “Knowing we truly have more in common with others than differences motivates me as a coach. I feel very encouraged that the students of Westside high school can participate in such an amazing program such as unified bowing.”