Written by Mia Buswell & Emily Rennes
Every year since the Bowl Patrol program began, we’ve celebrated the accomplishments of all those involved through the annual Bowl Patrol Awards. This year the story of one nominee for Western Australia’s (WA) Patroller Boy of the Year for 2021 in WA, is a particularly special one.
ZONE BOWLING Morley’s David Mitrovic has been nominated for a range of very good reasons!
There are many ways to participate in our sport, and when David started tenpin bowling last year, he wanted his schoolmates to experience Bowl Patrol too. So, with support from school staff and a Sporting Schools grant from Sport AUS, tenpin bowling was brought to his school. After mastering the basics, more than twenty students at Good Shepherd Catholic School then got to experience Bowl Patrol at the Bowling Alley.
In addition to his growing fascination with the sport, his ability to keep everyone entertained on the lanes is enduring. David has a thirst for information in partnership with his visual impairment, which means information delivered verbally is a great way for him to feel especially included. He loves to chat as much as he loves to bowl!
David’s skills have improved not just through his determination and persistence but with the help of wonder-coach and Lane Ranger Moira Mathie. Sharing awareness and passion for inclusion, Lane Ranger Moira utilised some visual aids to help guide David’s target on the lanes. The aids included using both contrasting-coloured cones on the lanes and a laser pointer to help show the pathway to the pins. The light and dark contrast can help some people with visual impairment.
His mum, Natalie Mitrovic has been one of his biggest fans, supporting and encouraging him through the learning experience.
“Bowl Patrol has been amazing for him. We’re so happy to share the program with others so that they might have the same experience too,” said Natalie.
Referring to his nomination and winning of WA’s 2021 Bowl Patroller Boy of the Year, Natalie added, “this award means so much to me. I’m speechless and wasn’t expecting it all! David might not understand as well as we do, but for me – it shows that this is a sport he’s truly able to achieve in. That hasn’t been the case in other sports.”
David received his white band after almost four Bowl Patrol programs, quickly progressing to his yellow band just a few weeks later, showing his depth of knowledge is really improving. The next band, an orange one, appears imminent for David.
“The message to those struggling to pick bowling up quickly is that with a continuous focus you can get the skills – then improvement can happen rapidly”, WA’s Sport Development officer Mia Buswell emphasised.
Bowl Patrol continues in 2022 for David and many others around Australia and maybe New Zealand. The school have also applied to do the program again in Term 1 2022, but we need more coaches.
To find out more about the Bowl Patrol program, Click Here