A local 5-pin bowler will be representing Ontario at the upcoming Special Olympics Canada 2018 bowling championships.
Karen Weber of Elmira is one of 90 athletes representing Ontario at the event. Hosted in Charlottetown, PEI, the 5-pin event will draw in some 200 athletes from across the country to compete at the Murphy’s Community Centre from May 14-20.
Celebrating the milestone 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics, this will be Weber’s first national competition. However, the local athlete has a lengthy local and provincial career behind her.
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Bowling out of the Elmira alley, she has been going weekly since around 2000. Not only does Weber love the sport, but she is extremely talented, having been hand-selected to represent the province.
“They always pick out who has the highest score and my score was the highest,” said Weber.
“She really is good,” added her sister, Judy Martin. “It is impressive.”
Weber will be competing on a team of four in the tournament, a group she met at a Special Olympics training event in Toronto.
In order to get ready for the big trip Weber has been doing tasks in addition to her strict training every Thursday evening, including planning out what equipment to take, and what to leave. She assures that her bowling balls, however, will be making the trip with her on the plane.
“I find that I can get more strikes with my new ones,” she said.
And for Weber, in addition to notching up strikes she’s going into the competition with high hopes, although she says she knows she will be up against some tough competition.
“That I do good, just enjoy myself there and have some fun,” she said of her goals.
To help with the cost of Weber attending and participating, there will be a fundraiser BBQ by Smoking Q on April 28 from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Avenues, 146 Church St. W. in Elmira.
“They are offering their food from their trailer and then proceeds from the sales of that fundraiser will go towards expenses for Karen,” Martin explained.
It is requested that a reservation for portions of a featured brisket, ribs or chicken legs be made in advance before April 23, however a regular menu will be available without a reservation.
Moreover, if anyone is interested in donating towards Weber’s attendance, but are unable to do so at the fundraiser they are encouraged to do so through the Special Olympics website, www1.specialolympicsontario.com/bowlingathletes/athletes-listing-by-sport-2/ and by clicking on the photo of Karen. Her costs to take part have been estimated at $1,200, which includes training camps, transportation, accommodation, meals, and uniforms.