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Members of the Fresno State Bowling Club gather before tournament play for the Tony Reyes Memorial on Feb. 18, 2017. (Courtesy of Fresno State Bowling Club)

Bowling club gives students sense of belonging

A sense of wonder inspired Hailey Ganiron to join the Fresno State Bowling Club.

Ganiron, a child development major, was competing in a junior bowling league when she noticed a talented bowler nearby. She learned he was in college.

“I thought to myself,  ‘Wow, what are they teaching him in college that’s making him so good?” Ganiron said.

Glenn Carlson established the Fresno State Bowling Club in 1969. The men’s team was National Collegiate Club champion in the 2014–2015 season. The club typically participates in 11 tournaments every season, mostly in California and Nevada.

Chris Preble, the club’s current head coach, said he became interested in bowling while growing up because there was a bowling alley only a bike ride from his home. He bowled for Fresno State from 1985 to 1989.

There are no prerequisites for joining the club. Some members are part of the travel team, while others are in a development team.

“As long as you help with fundraising and attend practices, we will work with you to improve your game,” Preble said. “It’s not unheard of for someone with very little experience in the game to improve so much that they work their way onto the travel team.”

Kiana Rowe, a member of the bowling club who is majoring in deaf education, has been involved with bowling since the age of 5.

“Bowling challenges my mental and physical abilities and allows me to grow not only as a player but as a person,” Rowe said.

Although bowling can be done individually, Preble said collegiate bowling gives those who love the sport the opportunity to be a part of a team.

“My favorite thing about the bowling club is that we are like family,” Ganiron said. “We try our best to help each other, and we take care of each other. I also love the feeling of a bunch of people working together to achieve something great.”

In addition, collegiate bowling gives people more opportunities to travel. Ganiron said she was amazed by the big screens and how many lanes there were when she competed in Las Vegas.

Rowe said she enjoyed visiting Chicago and said she appreciated getting to do so with good company.

Preble said the bowling club has been invited to compete in the Dallas sectional for collegiate bowling this year.

“Joining this club makes you feel like you belong somewhere,” Rowe said.