Chris Maloney, Brenda Schewalje and Mike Ward will compete in the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Bowling Championships. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Special Olympians to compete in bowling championship

Bowlers from Red Deer and Olds join Team Alberta

Ten bowlers from Red Deer and Olds are among 47 bowlers who will represent the province at the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Bowling Championships in Prince Edward Island, May 14 to 19.

Three of the Red Deer bowlers — Brenda Schewalje, Chris Maloney and Mike Ward — were at Heritage Lanes on Thursday for practice.

Schewalje said she loves bowling and always hoped to be on the provincial team.

She said aiming and maintaining focus can be difficult, but she encouraged those who have never bowled to give it a try.

“Go bowl and have fun,” Schewalje said.

Maloney said he was introduced to bowling by a friend.

“I really enjoy it. I get to interact with new people I’ve never met before,” Maloney said.

He said he also enjoys seeing familiar faces at the bowling alley.

Other Red Deer bowlers on the Alberta team include Lindsey Day and June Rolfson. Olds bowlers include Karen Bystrom, Derek Dukes, Derek Hallet, Mark Mengersen, and Joey Rempel.

Alberta bowlers competed last summer at the provincial games in Medicine Hat and next week they face 275 bowlers from across the country.

The five and 10-pin bowlers from Alberta are from 10 communities and range in age from 16 to 62. Half the team has never competed on a national level.

For the 5-pin bowlers, the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Bowling Championships is the top competition they will reach, while 10-pin bowlers are able to advance to be part of Team Canada to compete in the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.

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