By Janet S. Lee
What could be more fun in the hot summer months than bowling with friends in air-conditioned comfort? That’s the idea of the Challenger Bowling League, sponsored by Clinton’s Therapeutic Recreation Department for those with developmental disabilities or special needs.
Beginning June 14 and continuing through six consecutive weeks, concluding July 19, the league is open to those ages six through adult. Pre-registration is required by May 14, along with a $25 processing fee.
According to Director Chandra Broomfield, Clinton is one of only two cities in the metro area which have structured physical activity programs for developmentally disabled individuals. Bowling is one of the activities that can be enjoyed during the hot summer months in a climate-controlled environment at the local Indian Lanes on Northside Drive.
The $25 registration fee covers a t-shirt and trophy for each participant. In past years, bowlers have come from Clinton, Jackson, Raymond, Ridgeland and Terry for the summertime activity that builds both skill and self-confidence.
According to Mayor Phil Fisher, Clinton’s now-familiar town motto is not just a slogan but a mindset applied in all areas of the city.
“’You Belong Here’ is an all-inclusive motto, and the Challenger Bowling League is a great example of making that a reality. The work of Chandra and her staff to provide safe and exciting opportunities for our challenged citizens and friends is one of the many wonderful events the Woods Activity Center provides. Clinton is one of the few communities providing services/activities to the challenged, and it speaks well of us that we do so. Giving everyone an opportunity to play and participate is another factor that makes Clinton different from other communities.”
Broomfield believes the Challenger league sports “set Clinton apart, in that we can offer such opportunities for socialization and skill development. We help the bowlers learn what they can do and gain a belief in themselves.” She continues, “We’re always aiming to build a skill. It may be knocking down just one pin, but that becomes a victory.”
Broomfield, along with her three-person staff, supervises the bowling, with help from parents and other volunteers. In past years, as many as twenty participants have been involved, although there’s always room for more on the eight lanes that feature safety bumpers in the sixteen-lane bowling alley.
In keeping with Indian Lanes’ current policies, masks will be worn and COVID-19 safety protocols followed.
For additional information or a registration form, see www.clintonms.org, or call the Department of Therapeutic Recreation, 601-924-6287.