Stroke Recovery Association of Manitoba goes Bowling
Our little planning group at SAM realized that some of our members were interested in having a bowling event. I don't think we had a very clear idea of what all a bowling afternoon for stroke survivors would entail but we jumped on in and started planning. I called the alleys and found and booked an accessible bowling alley and I made name tags. April and her husband arranged for prizes and a few giveaways, and Dave and Murray worked out the teams and advertising. Sherry called the bowling alley and got them to donate soft-drinks for our event. Dave also did a bit of video recording of the event. The price for our event was very reasonable too because we were bowling in the off time between 4 and 6 pm.
We had a total of 19 people attend this past Monday, and everyone seemed to have a good time. We arranged for the bowling alley gutters to be filled with a rubber bumper so there were no gutter balls for us. The alley has a wheelchair ramp and they have a metal gadgets that lets you release and roll the ball down the bowling lane from a chair. We grouped into teams and then we played bingo bowling teams. The objective is to fill a bingo card.. throw 2's 3's 5's and spare and strike. Because we were playing as a team and not looking for a high score there was very little stress and lots of fun and "team spirit".
There were a few problems for sure and we will be talking about it in the next few weeks. One thing we found out was that as a group of stroke people we don't have a lot of endurance and we should plan for shorter events when they are active like this. Part way through the event a kids party started on the other side of the room, and the lights were dimmed and we found that we were now playing "glow bowling". In a way it was fun to see us and our shoe laces glowing.. but it made it a bit more difficult for a few people with vision problems. The disco ball and some moving lights also pretty much did in me and one other lady. I had an almost instant headache and started having trouble staying upright. So now I know that .. bingo bowling is a ton of fun and absolutely no glow bowling for me!
There was a trophy at SAM from a decade ago that was just collecting dust. We are going to have the "team name" of the winning team engraved on a little plaque and we will award it officially to the team members at the upcoming Annual General Meeting.
I think one of the nicest things to come of this event was that several people said they didn't know that bowling was an option for them anymore. They are now confident that this was a form of recreation they can enjoy with friends and family in the near future.