The Active Life Wii Bowling Team is leaving for Denver this Sunday to compete in the National Wii Bowling Championship and according to reliable sources, they are favored to win.
LeadingAge is hosting the National Senior League (NSL) 2012 National Senior Wii Bowling championship at their 2012 annual meeting and expo that is being held in Denver, Colorado. The Happy Strikers from Active Life are competing for the national title along with the UnbeWiiVables from the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center from Silver Spring, Maryland. Last year the same two teams were in the finals and the UnbeWiiVables were the victors but this year the Happy Strikers seem to have the edge.
The Happy Strikers’ bowling team is made up of five of Active Life’s most polished bowlers. The members of the regular team are Vestal Thomas, Grover and Evelyn Kelly and Hazel Smith. Since Smith is unable to accompany the team to Denver on Sunday, Tommy Buttrum is going to be part of the traveling team.
“There are teams from all different cities, and we were one of the two top teams of the country. We are going to try to win and bring that trophy home this year,” Evelyn Kelly said. “This year we have Vestal and he has a 300 average,” she said.
The bowling averages of the team’s other players are also impressive. Grover Kelly’s average is 281, Evelyn Kelly’s average is 297 and Buttrum’s average is 282.
Nintendo’s Wii gaming system is not just for younger individuals. Senior centers all across the United States hold regular Wii bowling matches. The best teams then compete in regional playoffs to determine who will be playing in the nationals. The Happy Strikers and the UnbeWiiVables had to beat out 241 teams from 30 different states to find themselves in the LeadingAge sponsored national finals.
“Wii bowling is an activity that holds inter-generational appeal; seniors often enjoy playing as much as kids do,” said Larry Minnix, president and CEO of LeadingAge. “We are honored to host the NSL 2012 National Senior Wii Bowling Championship and hope it offers a fun opportunity for participants and audiences to engage with each other.”
The NSL , which had over 1,200 participants this year, affords seniors a fun, social and sometimes competitive environment. “NSL provides senior bowlers with a great way to get a little exercise, meet new people and create a team atmosphere within their community,” said Dennis Berkholtz, president and commissioner of the NSL.
Active Life Director Dan Wooten will be going on the trip with the team and is very pleased with the team members’ dedication and spirit.
“The Happy Strikers exemplify seniors today that are not only keeping active but are excelling at things that they never had tried before. This team’s accomplishments are the result of their hard work over a three-year period with practises being held three-to-four days a week,” said Wooten.
Early Friday morning, as the team put in one of their last home practices their spirits were high and they joked easily with each other.
“Everyone says that it’s so easy, it’s not really bowling, but after they try it they find out it’s not really all that easy at all,” Thomas said.
The members and staff of Active Life wish the Happy Strikers good luck and a safe trip. Whatever the outcome, the Happy Strikers will be returning to their homes as winners in the eyes of their LaGrange neighbors.
LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Expo will be taking place in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center Oct. 21-24. The Happy Strikers are scheduled to practise on Monday and then meet their rival team on Tuesday for the final match.