GREAT FALLS — Special Olympics Montana hosted their 2021 Bowling Blitz competition over the last several days.
The Great Falls Lions had five athletes competing and their season was a bit different this year. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, teams across Montana were not able to travel to compete. Each week athletes would practice in their home alleys and work to beat their own scores.
“It’s been really nice the last five weeks to see the vast improvement in their form and their scores and even their attitude as we have been able to be here and bowl,” said Mary Beth Tolan, Co-LPC for the Great Falls Lions.
Coach Kathy Wanner hopes for more athletes to feel safe to compete in the Spring now that they have been able to navigate the pandemic: “We’re excited to be able to have them participating with their friends and competing against each other, trying to improve and be better as an individual. Many of our athletes have missed Special Olympics and we have missed them. This has been a really great time to be able to see how it’s going to work with practicing with the athletes after a break with COVID.”
From the Special Olympics Montana website:
With the continued spread of COVID-19, and the current Phase 2 restrictions with the State of Montana and Special Olympics North America, SOMT has decided to alter the winter bowling season. The 2021 Regional Bowling Championships originally scheduled for January and February of 2021 in Bigfork, Billings, Butte, and Havre will not be held. Instead, SOMT will be rolling out the following event.
The 2020-2021 Special Olympics Montana Bowling Blitz will have teams “Rockin’ and Bowlin’ into 2021.” Teams can return to practice and competition, while keeping athletes in their home communities, and in groups of 50 or less. This competitive event is open to all registered teams across Montana.
The Bowling Blitz will have athletes and unified partners practicing and competing from their home bowling alleys in singles, traditional doubles, and unified doubles. Athletes can register for up to 2 events. For athletes who remain “high risk” and are unable to return to practice, there will be a “Compete From Home” option that will include 3 different activities.
New with the 2020-2021 SOMT Bowling Blitz will be live stream events of team practice and competition sessions hosted on the SOMT Facebook page and YouTube channel. These live streams will showcase athletes from across Montana as they train and compete during the winter bowling season.