Editor’s note: For those who missed our 2016 Youth Excellence publication, we will be publishing each of the 25 features of our local youth in the coming months in our newspaper, and online, as well. This is the fourth on bowler Cole Broen, sponsored by Canadian Tire. The publication is still available at the Tribune for those who would like a magazine.
When it comes to bowling, Cole Broen said he likes pretty much everything about it.
“I get called ‘cocky’ all the time,” the 18-year-old said chuckling. “I am pretty cocky, I can’t deny it. It has always been a fun, competitive sport.”
Bowling is a family tradition, he added, crediting his grandmother Charlotte Appleton for starting him off with bowling about 15 years ago in Williams Lake where he was born and raised.
In fact, he added, Charlotte and his grandfather Laurie Appleton are his coaches.
“I remember having to throw the ball with both hands between my legs until I was nine or 10,” he said of his first few years as a bowler.
By the time he was 10 years old he competed at provincials in Langley and at his first big tournament won a bronze.
“It was very, very close,” he recalled of the first bronze.
Competing has taken him as far away as Langley, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and Terrace.
Last season he bowled three nights a week and achieved an average of 210 to 220.
This year he plans to bowl two nights a week because it’s hard on his legs and knees, he said.
“I am also finishing up my Grade 12 and need time for that too.”
When he’s not competing as a youth bowler, Cole plays in adult leagues. Some tournaments in places such as Quesnel require him to play 12 games, while in Williams Lake it’s usually an eight-game marathon, he said.
Last year he won a good majority of the adult tournaments, giving the adult competitors “a good run for their money.”
In Williams Lake there has been a drop in the number of youth bowlers which means Cole cannot attend many competitions because there are not enough players for a team.
The 2016/17 youth bowling season began on Sept. 12, but he said he hopes more people will register.
Presently Cole is practicing for an upcoming singles tournament to be held either in Williams Lake or Prince George.
When he’s not bowling or doing school work, Cole enjoys playing video games. Next year he will age out of the Youth Bowling Canada program, and said he hopes to return as a coach.