By Vern Hee
The bowling center at the Pahrump Nugget, 681 S. Highway 160 has a very active bowling program for kids.
The economy has taken its toll on bowlers, but the programs for kids are thriving and still the best buy in town.
The center has programs for teens, junior bowlers and kids, which run all year long.
One of its most popular programs is the summer program which draws as many as 150 kids which runs from June through August on Mondays and Wednesdays. After that, comes the junior, teen and bumper programs.
The junior and teen programs run all year long and are on Saturdays starting at 9:30 a.m. for the juniors and 10 a.m. for the teens. The juniors are from ages 7-12 and the teens run from 13 on up.
The cost is minimal at $7 per kid per week and it includes 3 games and shoes. The program also comes with coaching on how to improve the game.
While your teen or junior is playing the bowling center runs the bumper program for the kids 7 and under. This is $5 per child.
Many of the kids will do their sports during the regular year and pick up the bowling whenever their offseason is. The program allows for kids who play other sports.
Steve Lindsey attends the junior bowling program with his son. He also helps with the coaching.
“My son has been bowling for two years now. I have bowled for 14 years. Jacoui and Lori the managers of the programs do a good job getting the awards out and working with the kids. The price is fair. You really can not beat that. On top of getting trophies they get gift cards too. Compared to other sports bowling is rather inexpensive,” said Lindsey.
Kevin Finkler, a Rosemary Clarke Middle School student, loves bowling.
“I like the atmosphere of it. When you go to a big tournament you have a lot of great guys helping you out. In a past tournament I probably could not have won it without the help of Steve Lindsey. A lot of these guys just give you tips and to me that helps a lot. I have been bowling since I was eight. I got into tournaments about three years ago,” said the young bowler.
He believes bowling is just as challenging as other sports.
“It is a hard sport because of the change in the ball due to the oil patterns. There are so many variables to the sport. In baseball you can swing a little off and still be ok but in this if you miss your mark, it will not be a strike,” said Finkler.
Jim Hargraves, a volunteer coach and a regular bowler at the alley, believes bowling is a sport that any age and any size can do.
“It takes practice but anybody can do it. Any one can get to a decent level but to be really good at it it takes a lot of work. Any sized person can bowl. We have juniors and teens that have shot 800 and 300. The kids that are bowling now are committed,” said the coach.
Kids come out to bowl for all reasons. Almeda Eyere-Davis brings her son to bowl because she wants him to have a sport. Her son Theodore, who is seven, has autism.
“I started my son right away. My son has autism and the sport is good for him. It’s good for him to be mainstreamed and be with other people. He goes to Floyd. He did the summer and now he does the fall. This is the only sport he can do. He is seven but his maturity is like five. He is doing a lot better than the summer. I am not looking at him being a pro bowler. He is just out here to participate,” said Eyere-Davis.
The Juniors program will be sending 7 bowlers to the upcoming Junior Bowlers Tournament in February.