Freshman Patrick McGuire is creating a bowling club at Ramapo College for the Spring 2015 semester. Although the club will start out with friendly competition between club members, club president Patrick McGuire says that he hopes they can compete against other schools someday.
The club did not get approval from the Student Government Association this semester because McGuire did not have an executive board for the club. He said as soon as he gets that together, the club should be approved.
“I decided to start this club to honor my grandfather and my best friends. They were such comforting figures in my life and I couldn’t help but have dreams about them every single night. My grandfather passed away last summer and I knew honoring him in this way would make him proud,” said McGuire.
McGuire said that the challenges he has faced in life have motivated him to make strides to achieve his goals, which include establishing a bowling club at Ramapo during his first year as a student.
“I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when I was two and there was once a chance where I wouldn’t be sitting here speaking today,” McGuire said. “I’ve struggled to gain long-term acceptance. I wanted to prove to everyone that people with disabilities could accomplish great feats when no one is looking.”
McGuire said the bowling club’s mission statement is to provide a way for Ramapo students to improve their bowling skills, or as a way to introduce them to the sport if they are beginners. Experienced bowlers can use the club time to practice and get better, while beginners can use the time as a way to get started into the sport.
McGuire has been bowling for as long as he can remember. He said he has many family members who are good bowlers; watching his family around him enjoying the sport, McGuire soon wanted to participate as well.
“The club’s original plans were to practice about twice a week, but because of transportation issues it was changed to only once a week,” McGuire said. “When the club meets, it won’t be always just practice. We will have fundraising events.”
The practices will take place at Holiday Bowl in Oakland. McGuire and Todd Lizzo, the bowling club’s advisor and director of intramurals at Ramapo have already recruited 12 members who are ready to begin in the spring.
McGuire has high expectations and anticipates the bowling club having long-term success. He adds that his strongest belief is in the concept of team unity.
McGuire said that the process of establishing the club has been very smooth, and mentioned that several of the faculty members at Ramapo College helped make the process a success, including Olivia Evans, the director of commuter affairs.
“To me, she was just an amazing gift for anyone to work with. I want to thank her for giving me the opportunity to work with her. It’s been a dream come true,” McGuire said. “I’d also like to thank Todd Lizzo, my advisor. I can’t imagine anyone else being the advisor for the bowling club.”