Bowling News USA - April 29, 2014 Kelly's Travels
After watching professional bowler Kelly Kulick compete on television, Penn Manor senior Bri Kauffman was encouraged to get into the sport.
And that’s exactly why Leisure Lanes Pro Shop owner Gary Brooks brought in Kulick to help and encourage more than 100 junior and adult bowlers at Leisure Lanes in Lancaster, Pennsylvania last Saturday.
“I wanted the youngsters as well as the adults to meet a real professional, who is a great role model for the sport,” said Brooks, who staged the event in conjunction with Storm bowling equipment.
Kulick demonstrated the form that made bowling history when she became the first woman to capture a national title in a Professional Bowlers Association tournament — the 2010 Tournament of Champions.
In winning that title, she defeated some of the best male bowlers in the world.
“(Kelly Kulick) has always been an inspiration to me, so meeting her was exciting,” said Kauffman, whose Penn Manor team won a PIAA bowling silver medal this season.
Comet senior Ricky Graham, who also received some pointers from Kulick, said she was easy to talk to and very down-to-earth.
After signing autographs, Kulick moved through the lanes helping bowlers with everything from their grips to their releases.
“Kelly built my confidence just listening to her,” said 14-year-old Solanco student Randi Rambo. “She encouraged me to work hard to succeed in the sport.”
Warwick sophomore Austin Bariler had previously attended the Dick Ritger teaching clinic, where he was helped by Kulick.
“She is an inspiring bowler for us,” Bariler said.
Kulick, a six-time member of Team USA, said her father taught her to work at what she enjoys, and bowling was a natural choice.
“Growing up, I was a pretty ambitious kid who worked to do well at whatever I tried,” she said.
In 2000, she was the U.S. national amateur champion and was inducted into the New Jersey Sports Writers Hall of Fame. She was the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Rookie of the Year in 2001.
“As a professional, there is always pressure to win and keep that competitive edge, so that you can make a living from the sport,” Kulick said.
She noted that there were very few opportunities for women to compete, so she was happy to take on the men of the PBA.
Reflecting on her PBA title, Kulick said she’s often asked how it felt to beat PBA greats like Chris Barnes.
Winning any title, whether competing against men or women, is very satisfying, she said.
“I believe that my education has helped me to teach the sport,” said Kulick, a graduate of Morehead State University with a bachelor’s degree in physical and health education. “It lets me communicate the same passion I have for the game.”
(courtesy: Barry Decker - Lancaster Online)
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