More than 20 million children go bowling each year and bowling is the No. 1 destination for birthday parties for kids 12 and under. Recognizing the importance of young bowlers to the future of bowling, the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) supports a range of initiatives to introduce young people to bowling, and then engage and support them as they progress through the sport.
For its efforts, the USBC was voted the winner of the 2015 NCYS STRIVE Award presented by AIG. Brad Galiney, Head of Distribution for AIG Benefit Solutions, presented the award and a $5,000 winner’s check to USBC representatives during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. in July. The presentation was part of the National Council of Youth Sports’ (NCYS) National Sports Week.
STRIVE is an acronym for Sports Teach Respect Initiative Values and Excellence. The award recognizes organizations that embrace a "kids first" approach. This is AIG’s fourth year as sponsor of the STRIVE Award.
The USBC, headquartered in Arlington, Texas, has many programs and initiatives that span the growth and development of young bowlers. The “Bowlopolis” program features an animated cartoon series to reach kids as they begin to learn about the sport. The Bowler’s Ed program has provided more than 35,000 bowling curriculums free of charge to physical educators so they can teach bowling as a lifetime sport within their classroom. And it partners with the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America on the International Bowling Campus Youth Development, which awards more than $6 million in scholarships each year to youth bowlers through organized league and tournament competition.
The NCYS is composed of the who's who in the youth sports industry. Its membership serves 60 million boys and girls registered in organized youth sports programs across the country.
“The NCYS is a perfect match for AIG,” said Jim Slate, Head of Personal Accident, U.S. “We share the common goal of promoting health, safety, and wellness in youth sports activities, and the STRIVE Award is a tremendous showcase for the top-flight organizations in youth sports today.”
The USBC was one of five finalists for the 2015 STRIVE Award. Public voting for the winner took place in March and April through the NCYS website. The other finalists were the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association in Lake Forest, Illinois; the Greater Lafayette Regional Soccer Alliance in Lafayette, Indiana; Pop Warner Little Scholars in Langhorne, Pennsylvania; and York Jewish Community Center in York, Pennsylvania.