Dover woman enjoys 'challenging' experience in Italy as coach of U.S. deaf bowling team


Lindy Decker-Heilman said being a rookie coach of the United States team at the World Deaf Bowling Championships in Bologna, Italy, this summer was a challenging experience.

In 2005, Decker-Heilman earned gold medals in the singles and masters categories at the Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia. She also notched silver medals in the team and trio event.

The Dover southpaw teamed up with Brad Hagen, the women's bowling coach at Sam Houston State University, to coach the 12 bowlers.

"As a coach, I had to learn each person's personality and their game," Decker-Heilman said. "Putting together the lineup for each event was a big challenge, particularly when you have to deal with issues on and off the lanes."

Deaf Team USA competed against 27 other teams from around the world. They competed for medals in five different events: singles, doubles, trio, team and match play. Five of the 12 U.S. bowlers were competing internationally for the first time.

"Now that I know what to expect after being a rookie coach, I'm looking forward to the 2017 Deaflympics in Turkey," Decker-Heilman said.

Note: The 49th Annual Pennsylvania State Seniors Bowling Tournament will be held weekends from Oct. 10-11 through Nov. 7-8 at Bowl-O-Rama in Reading and Jay Lanes in Douglassville.

For more information, call (724) 652-3947.