PLATTSBURGH - It's bowling minus the shoe rentals.
Every Wednesday, senior citizens meet at the Senior Citizens Council of Clinton County Senior Center to compete against one another and seniors from Lakeview Towers and Beekman Towers in a Wii Bowling league. And, it all started with a broadcast on National Public Radio.
"We were trying to interest seniors in the Wii and after listening to NPR, we learned there is a national seniors Wii league," said Marcella White, program director of Clinton County Nutrition. "It costs a lot of money to register, so rather than spend $700 or $800 to be part of the league, we thought we'd make our own league."
The SCCCC team was soon born, with weekly tournaments held at the senior center. Lakeview Towers and Beekman Towers joined in on the fun, hosting their own weekly matches with their scores recorded and compared with the SCCCC team to determine the weekly winners.
SCCCC program coordinator Jennifer Pavone said each of the seniors has a different technique. SCCCC bowler Joann Trudo moved with slow gentle movements of her wrist as she threw a strike during a recent match, while Bill Clark, another bowler on the SCCCC team, got a strike of his own using fast and full body movements, twisting like he was throwing an actual bowling ball.
"[Wii bowling is] just like at a regular bowling alley ... you've go to be consistent, and it's very hard to be," Clark explained. "You're trying to throw a strike, making sure you move over two notches, try to do it again. There are too many variables and you got to get them all together."
"I think when you [Wii] bowl it depends on your day, because some days you can be really good and other days blah," said Arleen Smith, another Wii bowler on the SCCCC team.
Regardless of how they do, White said Wii bowling is "a positive senior activity" that provides for "good well-being nutritionally and socially."
"It's important as we age to remain active. Even people in wheelchairs can play right alongside others," said White.
Pavone agreed, adding she'd like to see more seniors become involved.
"If other facilities would want to get involved, we are always looking for more people just to keep it exciting," she said.