Fitness and Health

Niagara teen aims for college with partial bowling scholarship

“Spare” takes on more meaning when Chelsea Polga begins a fitness and wellness program as a freshman at Daimon University.

In addition to being a free period to maximize course load, Welland’s 17-year-old daughter, Joe and Sylvie Poga, is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division II program of women’s bowling. I’m thinking of getting a lot of spares. team.

Of course, when she’s not rolling, she strikes on the 10 pin.

Polga has been bowling since she was eight years old under the tutelage of her grandfather, Ben Rancourt, but it wasn’t until the École Secondaire Catholic Saint-Jean-de-Lauren that she started wanting to take up the sport. It wasn’t until I was in the 11th grade at Blebuk school. She at the post-secondary level.

“Do you want to stay close to home or do you want to be away?” are all the usual questions,” she said.

Polga, who is averaging 165 points in the Blue Star League out of Jeff’s Bowl-O-Rama in Welland, has a 2,500-enrollment school in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst, New York, which is all he needs. In the end, I decided to go to Daemen because I met the requirements. Small, close to home, he was one of 120 programs offering bowling in the United States.

“Canada doesn’t really have a bowling program for colleges, except for Barry (Georgian University), but they’re in a rebuilding year,” she said. “They plan to resume the program this fall.”

Ms. Polga decided that the Buffalo district, “only an hour away,” was the next best thing. In addition to sending documents with bowling results and records, she also sent videos.

“Since then, we’ve kept talking,” she said. “Daemen felt like a good fit for me. It is a small school with about 20 students in each class.

“It’s like a high school class.”

The Division II bowling season runs from October 1st through the end of March.

“But if I make it to the NCAA Championship, I’ll be able to keep bowling until mid-April.”

Division II programs cannot award full sports scholarships, but some of her post-secondary expenses are offset by a combination of academic, athletic, and leadership scholarships from private colleges. increase.

She hopes Daemen’s fitness and wellness program will lead to a career in exercise therapy.

“I love sports, so I would like to work as a physiotherapist or chiropractor for a sports team.”

Besides bowling, he is a multi-sporter who also plays basketball, soccer and volleyball.

“If it’s a sport I’m serious about, I play it for fun,” she said. “I also like athletics.”

Polga specializes in 10-pin bowling and has never picked up a 5-pin ball. It’s an individual sport, but it still has a team aspect.

“I enjoy bowling because you’re still playing for yourself. But you’re playing under a leader and you’re playing with a team. ‘, she said. “Your score counts as an individual. Even if you’re playing alone, you still have the support of your teammates.”

Polga sees 10-pin left-handed bowling as “more of an advantage” than a “challenge.”

“There are far fewer left-handed bowlers. When you bowl left-handed, especially in tournaments where the lanes are oiled, you don’t have to adjust your feet or hands or your throwing because the oil doesn’t dry out quickly.”

She focuses on a specific spot on the floor rather than a pin.

“This really helps my hand-eye coordination. If I know where I want it to go, my hand goes in a certain direction,” said Polga.

“Looking farther away can be a little distracting.

“For me, I prefer lines on the ground.”

She has 6 balls, all of which are meant to do something different.

“Some of them are going to put more spin on them. Some of them I’m not going to do.”

Usually she tries to stick to three balls when she goes to tournaments.

“But there may be a lot of ball changes if there are a lot of games going on.”

Polga has learned from experience not to lose to the early gutterball.

“Bowling is such a big mental game. she said. “I feel like it’s much better to be having fun than being down on yourself all the time.

“It pops into your head and it’s demoralizing.”

Selective memory can also help. If Polga misses the target completely when throwing a gutterball, Polga pretends that the gutterball never happened.

“One bad shot means nothing. You can still come back.”

While Polga is getting used to living away from home for the first time, she isn’t too worried about balancing school and sports.

It will most likely be an adjustment. But now I feel like I play a lot of sports in school,” she said. “I have a lot of academic work to do.

“I feel like I’m really ready for September now.”

Polga’s grandfather passed away in 2021, but he’s still a part of her life.

“He has always mentored me,” she said. “He still coaches me in some way, so why not see what he can do with bowling?”

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