Giving Those With Disabilities the Chance to be an Athlete

Patrick Molding lives by these words… “Do or do not, there is no try.”

A motto that serves well at an event like the Lee County Special Olympics bowling tournament where adults and kids like Patrick are encouraged to be social and open to something new.

“It makes them want to get out and do more,” Patrick’s grandmother, Nancy Self said.

What all these kids have in common is the desire to be an athlete and Tuesday’s event gives them just that; the chance to compete and the chance to have fun.

“They get to show off their ability, not their disability,” said Lee County Special Olympics Director, Dana STewart. “They also get to have some time with their peers at school that come out and practice with them and some of them are here today cheering them on.”

Offering a high five after each bowl, the joy and excitement is evident on every lane.

“I’m just trying to get some spares and strikes all the way up,” said bowler Eric Cha.

For these bowlers and athletes, it’s an atmosphere filled with celebration where they can be themselves and learn new things.

“We learned about bowling and how to roll the ball right,” said Kendren Whiteside and his teacher.

For some of them, a trip to the state tournament is next.

For the rest, memories to remind them they can do anything.

As patrick reminds us, “Just like the Jedi said in Star Wars, do or do not, there is no try.”

Related Articles