I can bowl just like everyone else!

The Collegian, Fresno State, Posted by Samantha Mehrtash, March 16, 2016M

Hi All,

My friend Tami sent this article about Shaela Warkentin, who lost her vision five years ago when she and her sister were driving home and she was struck by a DUI driver, due to that car crash, Warkentin lost two of her senses - smell and sight. Since the crash, Warkentin has accepted her visual impairment and has become the first blind student to take the bowling class at Fresno State.

 Fresno State student Shaela Warkentin, 19 holds her bowling ball as she gets assistance from Coach Duncan in her bowling class.

Fresno State student Shaela Warkentin, 19 holds her bowling ball as she gets assistance from Coach Duncan in her bowling class.

Although, Warkntin has challenges and needed to learn new ways to adapt to her visual impairment, I just love to hear that Shaela has continued to embrace college and all it has to offer – including her bowling class. Bowling 101 was taught by Coach Duncan, who welcomed Warkentin, his first blind student.  Duncan led her to a lane with a railing that he had created from PVC pipe with indicators etched on it so she could tell how far she is from the lane and when to release the ball. Warkentin can grasp the bowling ball herself, but Duncan acts as her eyes as he verbally guides her, telling her how to aim her body and adjust her stance. Warkentin says it’s not easy, and her movements and instruction from Duncan is calculated but she is happy to keep trying.  Warkentin was used to bowling with her family and says it was one of the few activities that her blindness had little effect on. “When I bowl, it honestly feels the same as when I had my sight,” she said.

Warkentin has such a wonderful and enthusiastic attitude in spite of her visual impairment and also rock climbs, skis and goes riding on a tandem bike. As Warkentin states. “I might be considered disabled, but I like to consider it ‘differently abled," because she can do most things just like any other college student. 

Enjoy & Get Informed!

Connie