Anna Eckleberry didn’t start bowling until after she retired as a teacher, but as she joined dozens of friends in the Ladies Match Point bowling league at Lakeview Lanes on Friday, Sept. 29, she said the sport is what has kept her healthy enough to be active at 100 years old.
“Bowling is a fun activity where you make a lot of friends,” she said, after being surprised with a large cake as she arrived at her weekly Friday morning bowl. “After I retired, I tried bowling – I taught myself to bowl, and I just kept bowling. It keeps you young!”
Eckleberry had no trouble grabbing her personal ball and expertly throwing it down the lane, showcasing that she is not slowing down her game any time soon.
“She is my inspiration,” said fellow bowler Phyllis Coxson. “I wouldn’t be bowling if not for her. She got me included after I heard her talking about going to nationals and I reached out to her to join. She’s beautiful and an inspiration to so many people.”
Eckleberry said she has competed in national competitions in another team for almost three decades.
“It really does keep you young,” she said. “And bowling friends are forever.”
RCSC Director of Bowling Mike Dirmyer said that bowlers at both Lakeview Lanes and Bell Lanes form special bonds, as they gain skills, confidence and great exercise.
“It really is special to see a regular bowler who we have all grown to love, like Anna, using bowling to keep herself healthy and active and social,” he said. “It is the perfect demonstration of why bowling is so popular.”