One of the Port Alberni teams that will be headed to nationals in February. From left to right: Jade Vilandre, Tyler VanKooten, Dakota Tate, Cheyenne Jokinen and Ariel Gust. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Two Port Alberni bowling teams headed to Special Olympics nationals

Winter Nationals will take place in Thunder Bay, Ontario



Port Alberni will be sending two bowling teams of five to the Winter Nationals in 2020.

The nationals will take place in Thunder Bay, Ontario from February 25 through 29 and will feature athletes from all across Canada. Participants are: Maurice Bernier, Richard Morgan, Dan Noble, Crystal Rousseau, Sebastien Thomas, Ariel Gust, Cheyenne Jokinen, Dakota Tate, Tyler VanKooten and Jade Vilandre. They had to win at regionals and provincials in order to enter the nationals.

For Bernier, this is his second time attending nationals. He has been bowling for 30 years and hopes to bring home the gold this time.

“The best thing about nationals [is] that you meet so many good friends and different coaches,” he said. “We brought home the gold in Vernon this year at the provincials. The last time I went, we stayed in the dorms in the University of PEI in Charlottetown and this year we will be staying in a hotel.”

Coach Debbie McCooey will be traveling with the athletes, as well as coach Jennifer Knoll. McCooey explained that the bowlers are sponsored by both national and local fundraising.

Special Olympics celebrated 50 years of being in existence this year. The Winter Games are held every four years and were last held in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland in 2016. The event includes eight sports: alpine skiing, 5-pin bowling, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing and speed skating.

From two-year-olds to mature adults, more than 42,000 athletes are registered in Special Olympics year-round programs across Canada. They are supported by more than 20,000 volunteers, including more than 15,000 trained coaches.

Saturday, Nov. 16 was the annual Invitational Bowling Tournament, which brought bowlers to Port Alberni from Parksville, Qualicum, Nanaimo, Comox and Campbell River.

Anyone with special needs can join Special Olympics in Port Alberni. They have almost every sport you can think of. If you would like to learn more, please contact Anne Evans at 250-735-0372.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


One of the Port Alberni teams that will be headed to nationals in February. From left to right: Dan Noble, Crystal Rousseau, Maurice Bernier, Richard Morgan and Sebastien Thomas. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Dakota Tate at the Invitational Bowling Tournament in Port Alberni. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Dan Noble at the Invitational Bowling Tournament in Port Alberni. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Just Posted

Australian investigators head to C-130 plane crash site

B.C. gov’t makes statement, sends condolences to Coulson Aviation

Veteran Island journalist battles cancer through pioneering treatment

Vancouver Island rallies around JR Rardon and family during stay in Seattle

Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia, killing three on board

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

Alberni Valley fire chief, captain retire after decades of service

Charlie Starratt has been fire chief of BCVFD for 27 years

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

Most Read