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TNBA holding its fifth Youth Weekend at ITRC

Terry Bigham
USBC Communications
Published: August 22, 2014 | Bowl.com
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ARLINGTON, Texas – Eight youth bowlers from across the country were at the International Training and Research Center on Friday to take part in The National Bowling Association’s Youth Weekend.

In its fifth year, the TNBA Youth Weekend allows the selected youth bowlers the opportunity to go through training sessions and exercises conducted by the Team USA coaching staff.

TNBA officials also at the ITRC included Barbara Council-Armstead, the TNBA/ITRC Weekend Project Coordinator who founded the program and has coordinated it each year, USBC Silver coach Donald Armstead II, the Philadelphia High School Bowling Program Chair, and Veronica Green, the TNBA National Junior Program Director.

Green said it’s a “great opportunity” for the youth bowlers who were selected to attend and the program continues to garner more interest.

“The response this year was tremendous,” Green said. “The word is getting out that this is available so we do have a lot more interest. Every time I come here I learn something new, so it’s a good opportunity for me, as well.”

The bowlers attending this year’s TNBA Youth Weekend are: Demetria Bethel, Piscataway, New Jersey; Lareece Chambers, Victorville, California; Alyssia Easley, Memphis, Tennessee; Gregory Francis Jr., Chester, Virginia; Morgan Moore, Aurora, Colorado; Terrence Robinson, San Bernadino, California; Isiah Tolbert, Paterson, New Jersey; and Laura Uzzell, Hillside, New Jersey.

Uzzell has been bowling since she was 6 and said the opportunities she saw in bowling made her want to stick with the sport. She now is a college sophomore, attending Jackson State University on a bowling scholarship. She has bowled at the ITRC in two collegiate tournaments.

“I really hope to gain some knowledge to bring back to the team,” she said. “We did OK here, but I want to learn some physical things about my game and some things to bring to the team.”

Francis Jr. is about to start his senior year of high school. He also has been to the ITRC before, taking part in the Bowling Combine for College Prospects last summer, and said that experience put him “in a position to know what I really need to focus on to get better” but the TNBA Weekend provides a different experience.

“This a pretty cool experience so far,” Francis Jr. said. “It’s different (from the Bowling Combine) because we get to help each other, room with each other, eat with each other. It’s like a big team-building experience.”

TNBA is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Organized in Detroit in 1939 to encourage blacks to develop their bowling skills, its motto is “Promoter of Sportsmanship, Fellowship and Friendship” and TNBA membership and tournaments are open to everyone. Go to TNBAinc.org to learn more about the organization.

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