Tis the season for ghosts, pumpkins and spring registration; and while most hours will be filled with core classes why not take a credit and do something fun with it: go bowling. Auburn University offers bowling as a physical education class that is worth two elective credit hours. This is the first semester that Auburn has employed a contracted instructor, Andy DeLaney, and a coach co-instructor, Barbara Holler.
Under the instruction of DeLaney and Holler, bowling classes have gone from three a semester to eight with an average of 600 students. This spring, they are expanding even further to 12 classes with 900 students. “We want to be the instructors who teach the most kids,” DeLaney said with a smile. DeLaney started managing the Auburn AMF lanes almost four years ago when he moved back to the area from Florida to get away from the hurricanes.
Holler says that the number one reason for students to take bowling is because it is enjoyable. “It gives students a break from school and is a physical activity class that is meant to be fun.” DeLaney went on to explain that bowling is the perfect sport for all walks of life. “Anybody, any age, any disability can bowl. Our motto for our youth league is nobody sits on the bench,” Delaney said.
But being in a bowling class is not only fun for the students, the instructors love it too. “I like seeing their enthusiasm,” DeLaney said. “It makes me feel good to see someone go from scoring a 30 their first week to bowling in the 100s now.” Holler enjoys the enthusiasm from the students so much that she made the decision to become a certified bowling coach. “It was a hobby that turned into a job, plus it’s fun!” Holler said. Unlike his counterpart, bowling is not Delaney’s forte. “Sadly I am not a good bowler,” DeLaney admitted. “But I enjoy working with the students.”
Auburn’s bowling program has become the foundation for other bowling programs in universities across the nation. The class expansion has gone all the way to the AMF president which has resulted in representatives helping other universities set up similar programs. DeLaney credits it to the student’s eagerness for wanting to take the class. “Students kept saying to me ‘God I wish I could get in the bowling class but it is always full’ so I decided to do something about that,” Delaney said. “The classes keep filling so I keep adding.”
If you are considering taking bowling, make that be the first class you register for next fall because all 900 spots for spring are already full. “It amazes me how many students get into,” Holler said. “Seeing the excitement in the college students is what I love about these classes.”