Youth travel to KMC

by Dawn Custer

How did you spend spring break? More than 200 youths and their families traveled from 16 military communities across Europe to enjoy their spring break in the KMC.

For these families, the action was the attraction – the pin action that is. The 153 boys and 82 girls, all youth bowlers, spent the week competing in the European Zone Youth Bowling Championships. The tournament, held annually, is a prestigious event that provides the opportunity for the best youth bowlers throughout the military communities in Europe to compete against one another for the opportunity to win college scholarship monies and for some, a chance to represent the European Military Community at the Junior Gold Championship Tournament which will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana later this year.

Depending on their ages and abilities, the bowlers rolled between 3 and 23 games each over the course of the five-day event. The competition featured both handicap and scratch divisions, with the competitors vying for their share of $9,600 in college scholarship monies.

This year’s tournament, hosted by the Ramstein and Vogelweh bowling centers, had many exciting and nail-biting moments. The most extraordinary was by Gavin Wainwright, a youth bowler from SHAPE, Belgium, who rolled a perfect 300 game during the competition on Thursday.

Through tears of pride, Angela Wainwright, Gavin’s mom, stated that although this was not Gavin’s first perfect 300 game, it was the first one in a sanctioned tournament. Gavin will receive additional scholarship money from the United States Bowling Congress for his accomplishment.

When the final results were tallied, the winners were announced. For one local participant, Ramstein’s Ashley Landram, it was the second consecutive year her name was called as the winner and the second time she will go to the Junior Gold Championships.

When asked how she felt about being a two time champion, Ashley replied, “I would have to say it’s one of the most exciting things that I’ve ever accomplished. I love bowling to death and I’m hoping to get a full-ride scholarship with stipend to go to college.”

Along with Ashley, Gavin Wainwright, also a two time winner, Sarah Uchwal from Fairford, England, and Dennis Patton from Lakenheath, England, will be heading to Indianapolis this summer to compete in the Junior Gold Championship Finals. For complete results, visit the RheinPfalz Bowling Association Web site at

If you know a youth aged 3 to 20 who likes to bowl and would like to have opportunities to win scholarship funds, contact Dawn Custer at or Jim Kramer at for more information.