GREAT FALLS — It’s been more than two years since Special Olympics Montana bowlers were able to make pins fall in their annual bowling tournament - but they came out in force at Little's Lanes in Great Falls on Wednesday, February 16, 2022.
SOMT CEO Vickie Donisthorpe said bowling has gained popularity with more athletes joining from around the state: “This year we were pleasantly surprised at the growth in our numbers for bowling participation. We’ve seen an increase in numbers and we’ve also seen growth in new teams that have come to bowl this year.”
Great Falls teams competed against athletes from around the state, with several tournaments going on throughout Montana. Teams’ results came in through computers so athletes could see how their competitors did.
Not only was there excitement from the tournament, but Special Olympics Montana also presented its Program Of The Year award to the Purple Hornets team of Great Falls.
Tim Detmers is a coach for the Purple Hornets and said the team had their ups and downs this year, but everyone is thrilled to be back in the tournament.
“It’s pretty awesome. The team likes it. Head coach likes it. I like it,” Detmers said.
Their team has about 70 athletes combined between sports and about 20 of them bowl. They say they’re honored to get the award and to be part of such a tight-knit family.
“We started practicing in November, so they’ve had ample time to get ready,” coach Jen Imlay said. “We’ve been doing Special Olympics so long that it’s all we know. We’re close. I mean the coaches are family, the athletes are family. They rely on each other so things will continue to go and grow.”