Group looks to make Mobile mecca for special needs bowling

Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 1:41 PM CST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -- The Skyline Lanes were full of action Saturday morning. The Special Needs Athletes Programs (SNAP) held a bowling tournament and giving their athletes the chance to shine.

“So many of these special needs athletes have nothing else to do during the week. They look forward to coming to the bowling alley and spending free hours with people of their skill level,” explained Joe Marshall, SNAP Executive director and president.

As the glossy balls glide down the hardwood, it’s stiff competition.

“I am the bowling master. This is my lucky dance -- lucky. I love it,” said LeeAnn Lankford, bowler.

Lankford says practice makes perfect.

“As a matter of fact, I’m starting my career as being a professional bowler,” proclaimed Lankford.

And she’s not alone. Thomas Lynch is also hooked on bowling.

“It’s fun and I like to come here every day,” said Lynch.

While you can find them playing here almost every Saturday, Marshall has a vision to bring special needs bowling teams from all over the state to compete in the Port City.

“We want Mobile not only to be family-friendly, but we would love to see it -- Mobile -- become the mecca of special needs bowling throughout the state of Alabama,” said Marshall.

With the help of the Mobile Sports Authority, they see the growth potential and aim to have their Inaugural Special Needs State Bowling Championship in June 2022.

“Watch these folks bowl. They’re pretty good. I mean they really are! And we saw that potential. We are going to try and grow it statewide and maybe even region-wide over the next few years. Just takes a little while to get going,” said Danny Corte, Mobile Sports Authority executive director.

Time is not a problem here. And even though they’re keeping score, it’s really all about the comradery.

And the best part about this event for participants?

Thomas Lynch said, “Getting out of the house. And I like to see my friends.”

“It feels like magic! Friendship is magic,” said Lankford.

Every one of the athletes went home with a medal as a keepsake.

If you would like to get involved, you can call the folks at SNAP at 251-366-9978.

All content © 2002-2021 Gray Television, Inc., WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Gray Media Group, Inc. Station). All Rights Reserved.

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