Crotched Mountain’s Adaptive Bowling Program Spotlighted in International Magazine

In its December issue, Bowlers Journal International, a monthly magazine dedicated to ten-pin bowling, highlighted the Mary and William Kiernan Lanes. The magazine was founded in 1913 and is one of the longest-running monthly sports magazines in the country:

Candlepin bowling is a sport that does not enjoy much exposure in a magazine devoted to tenpin bowling. But this is no typical candlepin bowling story.

That story begins in 1953, the year the Crotched Mountain School in Greenfield, N.H., was founded to serve children afflicted with polio. The facility has evolved over the years to serve as a school for the deaf and, more recently, a residential school providing a community experience for children ages 5 to 21 who span a broad range of emotional, psychological and physical challenges. The school’s two-lane candlepin bowling facility opened in 1960 and enjoyed an extensive renovation in 2013 thanks to a $50,000 gift from Mary and William Kiernan.

David Johnson, VP of Marketing and Communications for the Crotched Mountain Foundation, explains that the needs of the school’s students “run the gamut — a lot of autism diagnoses, but sometimes that is combined with other things like OCD [Obsessive Compulsive Disorder] or brain injuries, rare neurological disorders or physical disabilities like cerebral palsy.”

Candlepin bowling facilitates a primary goal of the school, “because it’s all about small steps with our kids, small goals to get to a bigger goal. I think bowling is a really nice microcosm of that process,” Johnson explains.

Despite the magazine’s focus on ten-pin bowling, Crotched Mountain’s candlepin lanes drew interest because of the unique therapeutic benefits that come from participation in the sport. And since many ten-pin bowling alleys also have adaptive equipment, the transition from candeplin to “big ball” bowling in the community can be seamless.

Read the whole article here.

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