To say that young Tatum Lohnes is a multi-sport kid would be an understatement.
The 10-year-old enjoys golf, soccer and basketball, but says that 10-pin candlepin bowling ranks as her favourite.
Her dad urged her to come bowling with him four years ago, and it sparked her passion for the sport.
Pajo’s Bowling Alley in Lunenburg is her home base, and owner Jody Lantz says he loves to see young people embracing this sport.
“Kids are coming out on a regular basis and seem to enjoy the social aspect of the game, along with the great team bonding,” says Lantz.
Lohnes wasn’t completely hooked on bowling at first, but as she looked around and saw the diverse group of bowlers around her, she felt it was something she could continue to do for a long time.
Her skill level improved quickly, and now her average score is in the high 90s — an impressive accomplishment for her young age.
She bowls twice a week and has inspired many of her fellow students at Bluenose Academy in Lunenburg to take up the sport
Lohnes is a member of Atlantic Youth Bowling, an association developed to expand the sport by making more young people aware of its benefits.
Bowling can help develop hand-eye coordination and works the majority of a body’s muscles in a controlled manner — strengthening them with a very low risk of injury.
It’s an inexpensive sport with no equipment to purchase, and only a small weekly fee.
AYB also has a competitive element called Lanes to Success, in which bowlers qualify at the House level to then compete at the Zone, Provincial and National levels.
Lohnes has worked hard to develop her skills and has taken part in a number of competitions, both locally and regionally.
Over Remembrance Day weekend, she and three of her fellow bowlers — Grace Lantz, Zoe Haughn and Aynsley Guier — travelled to New Hampshire to compete in an event sponsored by the International Candlepin Bowling Association.
Lohnes and Haughn finished first in Division II Girls Doubles, while Lohnes finished first in Girls Division I Singles and placed first in Division I’s All events.
All four girls banded together and won the Division III Team event, making the competition one of their best showings to date.
Lohnes says she loves to push herself to do the best she can in competitions and is already looking forward to the next one.
Since her dad introduced her to bowling, she’s often asked which of them is the better bowler. Lohnes smiles and answers “He is ... for now!”