We spoke to Carly, one of our young people in Portsmouth, about having fun bowling and organising her first group bowling trip.
How often do you go bowling?
With my youth group or with friends, I try to go once every few months. Bowling is really good fun and can be inclusive for lots of disabilities.
How is bowling inclusive for your group?
In my group we have people who are in wheelchairs, as well as those with other physical and learning disabilities.
Bowling lets us all get involved, as you can have a wheelchair ramp to access the lanes, which is useful for many disabilities.
And any helpful bowling assistances?
Yes, there are also barriers alongside the lane which stop your bowling ball rolling into the gutters. These can be simply switched on or off from your lane computer. You can have some people using barriers and others not, it’s your choice.
Each lane also has a bowling ramp to help you push the ball. This makes it easier for anyone who finds it difficult to bowl. It is also a good idea for anyone who has a low level of confidence bowling.
And you can take selfies from your lane computer and see your face next to your name on your screen, so it’s lots of fun!
Can you get something to eat or drink?
Yes, there is a bar and restaurant at our bowling alley. If you like, you can order at your lane and have food brought over to you. If it’s a special occasion, you can also book a party or a food package. When we go, we bowl for 1 game and then afterwards we head for food to a nearby Burger King.
“It’s a great idea to book in advance, and try to go off-peak if you can”
What’s the best way to book a session?
I’ve actually just organised my first ever trip as a group leader last month, which was very exciting!
I booked in advance to make sure there was enough space. There were meant to be 11 of us, but 14 came in the end! I added them on when we arrived at the bowling alley.
I think the easiest way to book is to go down in person, talk to them and explain what your needs are. But you could also call them or book online.
Are the prices different?
If you have a disability, you can get a concession rate. The normal price is about £17, but with a concession at peak time, that price is £7.50 per person.
If we had gone off-peak, it would be just £3.75! So, it’s a great idea to book in advance and try to go off-peak if you can.
How do you get there?
We’ll get a minibus if we can, or we’ll all make our own way. Some people are independent and will come alone, and some will come with a carer or parent. Everyone is welcome. We know we’ll have a great time!
Carly’s Top 5 Bowling Tips
- Wear sensible shoes. Choose trainers or pumps if you can, or any shoe that’s not open-toed. You don’t want a ball dropping on your bare feet!
- Choose a bowling ball that you’re comfortable with. Bowling balls come in lots of different weights, so make sure it’s not too heavy for you.
- Wear comfy clothes.
- Take your time to bowl your ball. There’s no rush, and you have to wait for the pins to be set up anyway.
- Book in advance. That way you can relax and get the best price.