Philly Youth Strikers helps kids score athletically and academically

ARDMORE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — Bowling was in Timmothy Bolden’s name and blood. He grew up watching his parents bowl in a league and they eventually encouraged him to join his own youth league.

Bolden fell in love with the sport and played as an adult. But his hobby took a hit after a personal tragedy.

“My mother died,” he said. “And it hurt me so bad and I just got out of bowling.”

Years passed and Bolden’s wife suggested he take up the sport again. And before long they were having the same conversation as Bolden’s parents. They decided to enroll their own children in a youth league.

They settled on a program in Center Lanes that would eventually be discontinued. Despite this, the Boldens were very active with their children’s activities.

“The gentleman who was running the youth bowling league at the time allowed me to bring some ideas and programs to the league, and finally, after about a year, he allowed me to take over,” Bolden said.

As such, the program was renamed the “Philly Youth Strikers” and is now housed at Wynnewood Lanes in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. There, three Saturdays a month, kids can join Bolden and other trainers to hone their skills.

Bolden’s son Brandon was a member until he retired from the program. Under his father’s tutelage, Brandon continued the tradition of falling in love and finding success with bowling.

“The results and experience I got in college wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the Philly Youth Strikers,” Brandon said.

He and his friends enjoyed three years of championships with Central High School. Now Brandon comes back to help his father and interact with new students who have enrolled in the program.

Jaila Chandler, 15, said bowling was difficult at first, but she spent time and energy learning how to knock down the most pins at once.

“It taught me that even if you don’t get the result you want, you still get something,” she said. “I just use that for my motivation in life.”

In addition to learning life skills, students who are United States Bowling Congress youth players can earn scholarship money by being successful in tournaments.

“If you’re sanctioned as a juvenile, it goes to what’s called a smart account,” Bolden said. “And then when you graduate from high school and into high school, you can use that scholarship money for your tuition, books, and whatever else you need.”

Philly Youth Strikers has just started its season and is scheduled to run through April or May of 2023. To find out more, contact her at 267-972-3057 or

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