Bowling and The Future Of The Sport

Let's face it participation in the sport of bowling has been in decline especially over the last few decades.  For a time bowling was looked at as some kind of hobby, but the truth is that it is a sport just like any other and always has been and like any sport the future is in its youth program for without participation in such programs no sport can remain viable.
Of all the sports such as football, baseball, basketball, soccer etc... bowling is a sport in which youth and parents have the opportunity to take an active role.  It takes many people along with the local association and the proprietors to make the sport viable.
I remember as a child bowling in a, then YBA, league seeing parents there along with their children cheering them on and celebrating with them and their achievements.  They, in most cases, were participating actively in this sport with their children much the same way that a parent actively participates in other sports that their children participate in.
Along with parents active participation there were also a great number of people also actively participating in promotion, recruiting, training and upkeep from coaches to proprietors as well as local news outlets and commercial advertising.  Sadly over the years we have lost our way and only up until recently have we begun to trek back to the above and it is proving to be a long road.
I have seen a lot of great youth bowlers over the years but one need not be great to be a good bowler or to even have fun doing it.  Bowling is a great way not only to compete but to have fun doing it and you get to meet new people and even form friendships.  With a good youth program in bowling though there is also the opportunity to learn more life skills as well through leadership positions.
We need to encourage our youth bowlers in the same way, or even more so, that we encourage new adult bowlers.  We also need to encourage the parents of the youth to become active and supportive participants in the sport in the same way they might if their child were participating in any other sport.  If there is one thing about youth that I do know is that when we encourage them they are more likely to succeed in any endeavor in which they are encouraged.  Along with that we need to encourage more people to become involved with the youth program.
Bowling, it's competitive, it's fun and it is a sport.  A sport that anyone can learn just like any sport.  The future of any sport however begins with the youth for without them the future of any sport finds itself in jeopardy.