USBC National Youth Committee Member honored by NCYS

    08/29/08

    USBC Youth

    Volunteer wins STRIVE Award as Local Youth Sports Administrator of the Year

    2008NCYSFrankWilkinson.jpg The National Council of Youth Sports has named United States Bowling Congress National Youth Committee Member Frank Wilkinson (pictured), 21, of Staten Island, N.Y., as its Local Youth Sports Administrator of the Year. The NCYS honor is one of several annual Hershey's STRIVE Awards that recognize "heartfelt passion, enthusiastic commitment and a contagious spirit to help kids succeed in youth sports activities."

    Along with the honorary title, Wilkinson will receive a check for $2,500, payable to the youth sports organization of his choice.

    "The money will go to the Staten Island USBC Association to be used for two programs, our 'Safety First Initiative' Registered Volunteer Program and our In-School Bowling Program," Wilkinson said. "We will offer grants to local schools so they can purchase In-School Bowling equipment."

    Wilkinson will be presented with his award in a ceremony hosted by the NCYS and The Hershey Company on Sunday, Oct. 26, just prior to the Staten Island USBC Association Bowling Against Breast Cancer Bowl-a-Thon at Rab's Country Lanes in Staten Island, N.Y.

    "It will be an awesome day," Wilkinson said. "We will go from a great happy presentation into a moving opening ceremonies that I conduct and then into a great bowling fundraiser."

    Active in the sport of bowling since age 5, Wilkinson started showing leadership qualities at age 11 when he began volunteering with the Staten Island Young American Bowling Alliance Youth Leaders Chapter. He served on various Youth Leaders project committees and, after being elected the chapter president at age 14, developed opportunities for young bowlers to compete and earn scholarship money on the lanes. At 18, he was elected president of the USBC New York State Youth Leaders Chapter and at age 20 was elected president of the Staten Island USBC Association.

    Wilkinson has worked in the family business, Rab's Country Lanes, for the past eight years, primarily with youth activities. He expanded his duties over the last year, taking the helm as proprietor of the bowling center after the death of his father.

    "Passionately involved in all aspects of the bowling industry and a strong advocate for youth bowling, Wilkinson has introduced the sport of bowling to school students as part of their physical education classes," said Liz DeHurt, a director of the Staten Island USBC. "He also is responsible for his bowling center's Have-A-Ball program, where kids join for instruction and receive a bowling ball during the season. Under Wilkinson's leadership the program has grown from 50 to more than 280 youngsters."

    STRIVE Award recipients were nominated by team members, parents or colleagues and judged by a panel of NCYS officials. The NCYS membership represents more than 185 organizations serving 60 million registered participants, including 44 million boys and girls who are active in organized youth sports throughout the United States. NCYS members include organizations such as Little League Baseball, Pop Warner Football, United States Bowling Congress, U.S. Youth Soccer Association, United States Olympic Committee and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.