By Loribeth Renyonds
Changing shoes, picking out a ball, and playing a game: Doesn’t sound like your typical college class.
At Hutchinson Community College, bowling is offered as a physical education course for credit.
Seems too good to be true, but with about 12 students enrolled for the fall semester, this is a reality.
HCC used to hold a bowling classes at Countryside Lanes, but three years ago the bowling alley shut down, and the class was no longer available.
With the arrival of The Alley this summer, HCC can now offer its bowling course once again.
Coach Pat Becher is a certified bowling instructor and has taught the class at HCC for about 27 years. Now that bowling is back, Becher is enthusiastic about student enrollment.
“We had 12 people this semester, but we hope to have many more next semester,” he said.
“The great thing about this class is getting to meet other bowlers and learn a lifetime sport.”
Troy Daughtery, a student from Wichita, agrees. He likes to bowl with his peers.
“I took this class because I just like bowling,” Daugherty said. “It gives me an opportunity to bowl the other people my age.”
Beginners are welcome in the course. Becher’s philosophy for students is, “Show up and play.”
“We cover everything in bowling from how to pick out a ball and shoes, how to score a game, how to figure out averages and handicaps, to proper approach and release,” he said.
“We also go over how to pick up spares and strikes. No experience is needed; just show up everyday and play.”
Lee Spight, a student from Lenxa, revealed his favorite part of bowling.
“I like getting strikes,” Spight said.
Krista Jenkins, a student from Derby, likes to take a break from her everyday classes to attend bowling.
“It’s a really laid-back class. The teacher is fun and flexible, plus this stuff isn’t boring,” Jenkins said.
“It’s kind of neat because if you’re new to the class, Coach Becher will teach you the scoring, and that helped me with my game. I also don’t mind getting away from all the homework.”
Brian Crisler, a student from Wichita, also enjoys being apart of the relaxed environment.
“I like this class because I don’t have to worry about anything and it’s a great way to relieve stress,” Crisler said.
The class meets at The Alley every Monday and Wednesday, with one goal in mind: to learn while having fun.