Lakeland’s first men’s and women’s bowling team is planned to start activity in spring 2021 and is looking for members to join.
Due to the pandemic of COVID-19, the start of the bowling team was postponed to spring 2021 from fall 2020. The bowling coach, Kimberly Fairchild, mentioned that since the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) bowling championship informed everyone that the earliest bowling tournament would be Jan. 16, she planned the next semester would be a great time to start activity as a team.
The coach, Fairchild, is a Lakeland alumna who graduated with a master’s degree in community counseling in 2010. She has been coaching bowling for children since she was in high school. While she was bowling as a team member of Wichita State University, she ran a junior program at a bowling center and kept teaching the techniques.
“I got involved in continuing with junior bowling. Then, I ended up involved in high school bowling and I became a high school bowling coach for a while. That’s how it led to me being involved with collegiate coaching,” Fairchild stated.
Students who join the team are going to have once a week lessons about bowling techniques, lanes, oil patterns, and mental controls. They also have tournaments once or twice a month which compete with other universities’ bowling teams. “[Collegiate tournaments] are usually two day tournaments and they are eight hours of bowling, non-stop…. So, the team will be doing some workouts and some conditioning stuff,” she emphasized.
Fairchild described her coaching motivation. “I wanted to bring that experience to Lakeland and also be able to help kids who love bowling to be able to use their love of sports, and to be able to better their education is a huge motivator for me…. When I went to college as an undergrad, I wanted to be able to bowl in great programs and learn a lot about the sport while also being able to get a great education at the same time. I want to be able to bring that opportunity for kids here in our area as well.”
This bowling team is open for any students including those who are new to competitive bowling. “If you’ve never thrown a ball before, but you’re willing to put in the hard work and the effort, it’s one of the few sports that you can start new and pick up fairly quickly. I’m really excited about the opportunity and the ability to bring in something new and different to the campus,” Fairchild mentioned.
Dawson Marsden, a sophomore, expressed his excitement to have a new bowling team. “I think it’s great that Lakeland is starting a bowling program. This awesome school already has so many sports and clubs to join, but adding bowling will open another door for students. I am excited to see the bowling program grow and thrive here at Lakeland.”