Trail bowler to coach BC Special Olympians at nationals

Trail’s Jacob Plett will help coach the BC Special Olympics Bowling Team at the Nationals in PEI

Trail native Jacob Plett (left) will coach the Special Olympics 2018 Team BC at the 2018 Special Olympic Canada Bowling Championship in P.E.I from May 15-19. Jim Bailey photo.

Trail native Jacob Plett (left) will coach the Special Olympics 2018 Team BC at the 2018 Special Olympic Canada Bowling Championship in P.E.I from May 15-19. Jim Bailey photo.

Trail native and former regional and provincial youth bowling champion, Jacob Plett, will lead the Special Olympics BC bowling team into the nationals.

The 20-year-old Plett coached the Special Olympic BC-Trail bowling team at last year’s Summer Games qualifier in Kamloops and his knowledge of the game and affinity with the Special Olympian athletes made him an excellent choice.

“The biggest thing I can say about him is that he has been very dedicated,” said Glenmerry Bowl proprietor and former coach Ron Sandnes. “Not only to learning the game or to his own game, but dedicated to being a great sport and helping other kids and the Special Olympics.”

Seventy-one members of Special Olympics Team BC 2018 are set to travel from coast to coast to compete in the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Bowling Championships in Prince Edward Island. This exciting event will take place from May 15 to 19 and will see Special Olympics athletes from across Canada show their skills in 5- and 10-pin bowling.

Plett is one of 12 coaches that will lead a bowling contingent of of 56 athletes with intellectual disabilities representing 23 communities across British Columbia.

“He knows the game and I think he’ll definitely be a great benefit to the team,” added Sandnes. “Just having someone who has been through the wars, all the tournaments, despite his age, he has a lot of experience and he’s a great kid.”

Plett competed in the National 5-Pin Youth Bowling Challenge in Hamilton, Ont. when he was just 16, joining Tim Flack as the only other Greater Trail Youth Bowler to advance to nationals.

Team BC 2018 members qualified for the provincial squad through their performances at the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games in Kamloops. Since being named to Team BC 2018, bowlers have been working hard with their coaches to further develop their skills and fitness levels so they can be at their best for the competition in Prince Edward Island.

“Team BC 2018 bowlers are ready to hit the lanes and represent their province with pride at the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Bowling Championships,” says Leslie Thornley, Team BC 2018 Chef de Mission. “These athletes have been training very hard to elevate their performance, and this will be an excellent opportunity for them to show their skills and sportsmanship on the national stage.”

Approximately 410 athletes, coaches, and support staff will come together in P.E.I. for the National Bowling Championships. At the event, 10-pin bowlers will compete for the opportunity to represent Canada at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi. The National Bowling Championships will mark a big change for 5-pin bowling, as after the competition the sport will move into the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games cycle.

Team BC 2018 members will also represent their province at the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. This competition will run from July 31 to August 4 and will feature athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, softball, and swimming.