West pilots newest CHSAA sport: unified bowling

Jackson Morgan, Staff Writer

This year, Greeley West is piloting a new sport called unified bowling. Unified bowling is an official CHSAA sport just like our other athletics programs. The unified bowling season lasts nine weeks and has a regional and state level tournament.

Unified bowling is a bowling team where a student partners with a student with a disability and used combined scores to show their team score. The team competes with other schools in the Northern Colorado area including Central and Northridge. The competition ranges from meets against other teams in the area, regionals and even has a full on state competition. To qualify for state, the two students’ scores must be above 400 points each tournament. West’s team competed in this year’s regional tournament on Wednesday.

Junior Simon Tesfaselassie is one of the student s on this year’s team. Tesfaselassie joined the team because, “I had already been part of the unified class and had a good relationship with most the kids in it and had nothing else going on so I thought why not I like to bowl.”

The students practice once a week at Highland parks lanes which is paid for by CHSAA: Practice is from 4-5:30.      This year, the team is coached by Nicole Beaton and Judy Smaic during this pilot year. The sport is completely funded by CHSAA, so the coaches and players don’t owe any money.  Beaton said, “This sport is super important to making West more inclusive for all of its students and show that sports are for everyone.”

Beaton is a teacher at Greeley West and was an advocate to add bowling to West’s list of unified sports.