Most of you who are reading this probably do not know who Kelly Kulick is. But you should, and here is why. She is forging a path for women in an extremely male dominated sport – bowling! Kelly was the first woman to ever win a PBA tour title last year, and… she won by a lot!
(Kelly Kulick–2010 PBA Finals–Picasa Web)
I had the privilege to watch Kelly play up close and personal at my first bowling tournament last week. After a lifetime of bowling for fun on random Friday nights, I joined a league this year and really fell in love with the sport. Bowling has for a long time held the stigma of older gentlemen, in smoky bowling alleys – a real boys club. I volunteered to work a PBA tournament with a couple of friends and even I was surprised to walk in and see Kelly. We asked a fellow volunteer if she was any good – and he responded that no one messes with Kelly. I quickly became enthralled and watched her almost exclusively for the rest of the evening. She was just so cool. In fact, she met President Obama and the first lady last year on International Woman’s Day!
The PBA opened tournaments to women starting in 2004. Kelly was one of the women who immediately joined the tour. It simply makes sense that women are able to play – to join the PBA you must have a 200 average for a season. Kelly can get a 200 in her sleep. (I don’t really think that’s the case, I just think she is that awesome!) I feel like I missed my calling to be a professional bowler. I scored my first 200 during the league this winter. Now, if I just carry that for 36 straight games, maybe I will have the chance to challenge the boys, too!