Empowering the Lanes: Celebrating Girls and Women in Bowling

Posted by Ashe Whiting on

Image reads: "Celebrating National Girls & Women in Sports Day" and "Empowering the Lanes: Celebrating Girls and Women in Bowling" in green and white text on a black background with white silhouettes of women playing sports along the bottom.

As we celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day, we proudly spotlight Beverly Thiel, a powerhouse in the world of bowling. A champion on and off the lanes, she secured the title of 2019 Diamond Singles Champion, clinched the prestigious AZ State All-Events Championship in 2021, and is an alumna of Southern University A&M College, where she honed her skills and embraced the spirit of teamwork.

From her early days bowling with family to becoming a prominent figure in the bowling community, Beverly embodies the spirit of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, inspiring aspiring female bowlers to pursue their dreams fearlessly. Join us in exploring Beverly's remarkable story—a story marked by triumphs, challenges, and a commitment to uplifting the next generation of female bowlers.

Getting Into Bowling:
Growing up in a family of dedicated bowlers, Beverly discovered her love for the sport at a young age. "My dad, mom, and grandparents all bowled, and as soon as I started watching, my dad got me into it," she shares. When she was four years old, she bowled on TV in bowler of the month competitions. Now, the tradition continues as her own daughters eagerly embrace the lanes, creating a beautiful legacy that aligns perfectly with the celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

Memorable Moments and Achievements:
Among the numerous accolades, Beverly's diamond singles championship stands out. However, it's her first honors score in 2016 that holds a special place in her heart. "My daughter was 4, and she gave me a plastic crown to wear, and I wore it the whole time. It was my good luck charm, and she got to see me bowl my first 800 series that day." 

Challenges and Triumphs:
Reflecting on her journey as a woman in bowling, Beverly addresses the challenges she faced. "The women’s portion is not as out there as the men's, and it’s getting better, but it’s not what it could be." With twice as many men as women at many bowling events, finding competitive matches for women with high averages can be a challenge, underscoring the importance of events like National Girls and Women in Sports Day. 

Advice for Aspiring Female Bowlers:
As a coach at the youth league level, Beverly offers advice to young girls and women entering the sport, stressing the need to be vigilant for other bowlers, seek tips on social media, and find local mentors.

Inspirations in the Bowling World:
Liz Kuhlkin is a significant influence on Beverly's journey, describing her as "every female bowler's inspiration." Meeting bowlers like Carolyn Ballard and Daria Pająk has added depth and motivation to her love for the sport. She shares that she met Pająk and Verity Crawley at a PBA Nascar event where the latter spent some time talking to her daughters. Meeting these accomplished bowlers reinforced the significance of having strong female role models in the sport. As we celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Beverly emphasizes the impact these interactions have on encouraging the next generation of female bowlers. It's a reminder that the lanes are not only a place for competition but also for building connections and fostering a sense of unity among women in the bowling community.

Advice to Younger Self:
"If I could share one piece of advice with my younger self when I first started bowling, it would probably be to remember that every frame is a new opportunity." This philosophy, passed down to her own daughters, emphasizes resilience and focus.

Conquering Challenges:
Recalling a challenging match, Beverly shares her approach: "In the finals for a king of the Hill tournament here, against one of the best bowlers in the state, I just tried to keep in mind one frame at a time."

Representation and Visibility:
On the importance of representing women in professional bowling, she emphasizes its impact on the sport's growth, especially during National Girls and Women in Sports Day. "It’s crucial to show up and put back into bowling." Beverly points out that while there are not as many women in the sport, there are still some and there are young girls becoming interested who need good mentors. 

Empowerment through Creating the Difference:
As a staff member for Creating the Difference, Beverly contributes to the empowerment of women in bowling by coaching youth leagues, being a mentor, and encouraging women to participate in adult leagues. She also expresses that she doesn’t let her high average keep her from being approachable. She exclaims her delight at the number of women she sees on staff with Creating the Difference. "Being part of Team CtD allows for a female perspective and grows the sport.”

Closing Thoughts:
As Beverly reflects on her Diamond Singles win, she notes, "I didn’t realize what I had done until it was done." Her accomplishment, the 4th highest singles series in nationals history, coincided with the 100th anniversary of the series, marking a truly historic moment that she says she reached by looking one frame at a time. 

National Girls and Women in Sports Day is not only a celebration of achievements but a reminder of the indomitable spirit of women like Beverly who continue to inspire the next generation. Through challenges and triumphs, she proves that the lanes are a place for everyone to thrive, especially on this special day dedicated to honoring the power and potential of women in sports.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published