The Trail Times feature on Special Olympic-Trail athletes competing in the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games in Kamloops next month continues with SOBC-Trail bowler Robert Tarko.
Special Olympics BC-Trail (SOBC-Trail) bowler Robert Tarko makes his way to the Trail bocce pits every week to keep his arm loose in preparation for the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games.
Tarko will not only compete as a 5-pin bowler but he will also coach his four-person bowling team at the event in Kamloops July 6-8. Tarko is a gifted athlete and coach and, along with SOBC-Trail coordinator Jakki Van Hemert, he attended and participated in the BC Athlete Leadership Conference in Richmond in April to help prepare for the Games.
With the bowling season over for most leagues, Tarko stays in game shape by joining his friends at the Trail Bocce Facility in the Gulch every week to throw bocce rather than bowling balls.
“Bocce is a good sport for me, just so I can get ready for the summer games,” said Tarko. “Bocce is almost ideal, it’s similar to bowling, it keeps my arm straight and my legs fine tuned for it.”
No stranger to competition, Tarko is an accomplished bowler and curler who has competed on the regional, provincial, and national levels and been involved with Special Olympics for over 40 years. He looks forward to sharing his experience and success with the Kootenay team as they get set for this year’s event.
“I’ve been in these competitions for a long, long time,” said Tarko. “My expectations are pretty high. I’m going to go up there and do my best and hopefully come back with another gold medal, or bronze, or silver … just try my best, that’s all I can do.”
Winners of the events can qualify for the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.