West High Partner’s Club Bowling Tournament

Tristan Nyman, Reporter

Every year at West High School, Partners Club competes in the annual Alaska Special Olympics bowling tournament. This year, The tournament took place on the 6th of November, and was a competitive and action-packed event. All of the eight Anchorage School District schools competed, with West’s Partners Club taking first over all. West’s competitors of the tournament were all exuberant to be competing, and explained how they were all overjoyed and full of pride when they brought the first place trophy back to the Original A.

For those who are not aware, Partner’s Club is an organization in which students with disabilities can participate in activities with non-disabled students. Currently, all schools in ASD support a Partner’s Club, and it is larger than it has ever been before. Partner’s Club is nation-wide, although the name of the program changes from state to state. Mr. Wendland, who is the teacher of Life Skills in Room 38, is in charge of Partner’s Club at West High. “Partner’s Club is a great program, and I’m glad to see how much it’s grown over the seven years I’ve been teaching. People have been participating in Partner’s Club and Special Olympics events more than ever before,” said Mr. Wendland.

The rise in members of Partner’s Club, and simply people participating in athletic events held by Alaska Special Olympics, has dramatically improved the scale and organization of the events that take place for both the disabled and the non-disabled. West High junior Anna Warnock has been in Partner’s Club since her freshman year, and she explains her love for Partner’s Club, and her anticipation for the bowling tournament. “Partner’s Club is so much fun, and I love working with all of the kids. There are always a lot of people at the bowling tournament, and there are always positive vibes and good attitudes from all of the schools. I am definitely looking forward to it.”

The bowling tournament took place at Center Bowl. All eight ASD schools attended the tournament, and every school was full of spirit. Eric Aeckel is also a junior at West, and a participant in Special Olympics. Before the tournament occurred, Eric confidently and proudly shared his thoughts on the upcoming tournament. Eric jubilantly replied “Yes!!” to every question asked; including one that inquired if he was feeling confident in West taking home the first place trophy. As it is said, confidence is key, and West ended up winning the tournament, and rising on top of all of the other seven high schools. Thanks to Eric and his teammates, the large, blue, lustrous trophy is now proudly on display in Room 38.

“I’m really glad we won the bowling tournament!” said West Partner’s Club participant Sydney Steele. “I was a little nervous at first when I heard how many schools were going to be there, but it looks like we pulled through, and won!” With the tournament being a success, West’s Partners Club cannot wait to compete again next year. No matter what your time schedule is, it can’t hurt to stop by room 38 at lunch on Monday, and give Partner’s Club a try. Partner’s Club will only continue to get better if more students join and participate. So don’t be hesitant to give it a try!