The National Bowling Association’s Youth Weekend at the International Training and Research Center celebrated its eighth edition this week, and the program continues to provide a learning ground for student-athletes wanting to take the next step in their games.
Eight student-athletes were selected to take part in this year’s TNBA Youth Weekend, and the ITRC, home of Team USA, served as the backdrop for the three-day experience, which kicked off Thursday and will conclude Saturday.
The trip includes lessons and drills with the Team USA coaching staff, a tour of the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame and the opportunity to further the legacy the program has built since its debut in 2010.
Participants selected for the TNBA Youth Weekend have found success at multiple levels of the sport, including at the youth, collegiate and Junior Team USA ranks. This success, and the hope of continued success and growth, is something TNBA/ITRC Weekend Project Coordinator Barbara Armstead looks forward to each year at the ITRC.
“I get excited when I look back and see the beginning of this program and where we are today,” Armstead said. “I know everything happens in stages and small steps at a time, and I really can see the fruits of the labor of this program blossoming. It is very gratifying to know these student-athletes are getting this opportunity to reach their potential and leave their mark.”
The eight participants for the 2017 edition of the TNBA Youth Weekend are Dorian Ackers and Jada Horn of Memphis, Tennessee; Jada Bassette of Providence, Rhode Island; Jeremiah Buckley and Clinton Lyons of Park Forest, Illinois; Ryan Carlisi of Trenton, New Jersey; Kellie Frain of Yardley, Pennsylvania; and Capri Howard of Lynwood, Illinois.
Also joining Armstead at the ITRC was TNBA National Junior Program Director Veronica Green, TNBA President Dewann Clark, TNBA Vice President and Jackson State University head bowling coach Michael Boykins and TNBA youth program coaches Don Armstead and Pat Frain.
Howard, 17, had been interested in making a trip to the ITRC, and she applied in hopes of getting to see the technology in action with help from the Team USA coaching staff.
She is preparing for her freshman year at Jackson State and plans to take what she learns from the experience back to help the Tigers as the 2017-2018 season approaches.
“I really wanted to go to the ITRC and see all of the technology they have available to help make us better,” Howard said.
“When I found out I was selected, I was a little shocked, but pretty excited, too. It means a lot to be able to be a part of this experience. I’m going to get some great advice and tips from some of the best coaches in the world, and it’s going to be a great way to prepare for my collegiate bowling career.”
Lyons is a 16-year-old preparing for his junior year in high school, and he views the opportunity as a chance not only to improve his game but to also help him continue his education at the collegiate level.
“I knew something was missing in my game and knew this program could really help me out,” Lyons said. “I was excited to find out I had been selected, and it makes me want to push on and keep working on my game. This experience also is going to help me as I start to look ahead towards college.”
To take part in the TNBA Youth Weekend, bowlers must be 16-19 years old and are required to submit an application.
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