Shelburne bowlers hoping to represent Nova Scotia at national Special Olympic competition


Published on April 20, 2017

Martin Fudge is nervous.

But, like any true athlete, he isn’t going to let his nerves interfere with enjoying the game. With a handful of luck and a boatful of skill, he has a shot at representing Nova Scotia in the Special Olympics Five-pin Bowling Nationals.

Fudge, Erica Roy, Greg Currie and Devere Ilse are all heading to CFB Halifax April 29 to see if they can qualify for nationals.

Fudge has been bowling with the Special Olympics for 30 years.

“It’s just like being with a second family,” he says.

But even with his considerable experience, it's still intimidating to face off against 60 to 80 other bowlers.

“Sometimes, I feel nervous, but you can’t let it get into your head if you are going there,” he said.  “You can’t think about it; you just have to bowl and have fun.”

If he qualifies, it will be his second time travelling to nationals with Special Olympics. He previously made the cut in 2006.

Fudge said the four bowlers have been practising weekly at Swansburg Lanes to prepare for the competition.

“They are doing really well,” said Fudge.  “Their averages are going up, but what’s important is they have fun and do their best.”

Fudge has taken on the role as team leader for the Shelburne County Special Olympics bowlers.

He said there have been some great helpers along the way to get them to where they are now. Kevin Smith, a local fisherman, donated enough money to allow the bowlers to practice on a weekly basis, while the Swansburg Lanes has opened one evening a week, outside the normal business hours, for practices.

Nationals will be held this year from May 14-18 in PEI.