ARDMORE, Pa. (WPVI) — Bowling was in the name and blood of Timthy Bolden. He grew up watching his parents bowl in a league and they eventually encouraged him to join his own youth league.
Bolden fell in love with the sport and played as an adult. But his hobby took a hit after a personal tragedy.
“My mother passed away,” he said. “And it hurt me so much and I just got out of bowling.”
Years passed and Bolden’s wife suggested they return to the sport. And soon enough, they were having the same conversation as Bolden’s parents. They decided to enroll their own children in a youth league.
They chose a program at Center Lanes, which would eventually close. Still, the Boldens were very active with their children’s activities.
“The gentleman who ran the youth bowling league at the time, he allowed me to implement ideas and programs in the league and finally, after about a year, he allowed me to take the succession,” Bolden said.
Thus, the program was renamed “Philly Youth Strikers” and is now housed at Wynnewood Lanes in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. There, kids can join Bolden and other coaches for three Saturdays each month to hone their skills.
Bolden’s son, Brandon, was a member until he aged out of the program. Under the tutelage of his father, Brandon continued the tradition of falling in love and succeeding in bowling.
“The scores and the experience that I had in college, they wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the Philly Youth Strikers,” Brandon said.
He and his friends enjoyed three years of championships with Central High School. Now Brandon returns to help his father and interact with the new students enrolled in the program.
Jaila Chandler, 15, said bowling was difficult at first, but she spent time and energy learning how to knock down the most pins at once.
“It taught me that even if you don’t get the outcome of something you want, you still get something,” she said. “I just use it for, like, my motivation in life.”
In addition to learning life skills, students who are young players within the United States Bowling Congress can earn scholarships by passing tournaments.
“When you’re sanctioned as a youngster, it goes to what’s called a smart account,” Bolden said. “And then after you graduate from high school, if you go to high school, you can use those scholarships for your tuition, your books, whatever you need.”
Philly Youth Strikers just started their season and plans to run through April or May 2023. For more information, contact them at 267-972-3057 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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