Bethel Adds Two New Varsity Sports
Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving and Men’s and Women’s Bowling will be offered starting in the fall of 2019.
The addition of these unique new sports is part of Bethel’s strategic plan for growth, which aims to influence more students with the Christ-centered education Bethel has to offer.
“The president always says, ‘We can’t influence students we don’t have,’” says Athletic Director Tom Visker. “With these new programs, we’ll have the opportunity to influence 60-70 students who may not have [otherwise] considered Bethel.”
While bowling is an emerging sport in the NAIA, Visker says it is one of the fastest growing high school and collegiate programs in our region and across the nation. In the Crossroads League, Bethel will become the fifth college to add bowling and the only college to offer both men’s and women’s swimming and diving.
Community partnerships enable Bethel to start these new programs without having to wait for new facilities to be built on campus. The Bowling teams will practice and play at Strikes & Spares in Mishawaka. The Swimming and Diving teams will use the brand new, state-of-the-art, $69.5 million Elkhart Health Fitness Aquatics and Community Center, which is scheduled to open in the summer of 2019.
“Facilities has always been a question when it came to adding new sports. With community partnerships, we are able to provide new sports without adding new facilities,” Visker says.
New coaches include Deb Thompson (Swimming and Diving) and Chris Adams (Bowling). Each brings a level of experience, passion and expertise to their new position, and both are excited about the possibilities these new sports bring to Bethel.
“I feel very blessed to have this opportunity to work at Bethel College and start the men’s and women’s swimming and diving team,” says Thompson. “I look forward to seeing where God takes us on this new adventure.”
Adams says, “I am honored to be the first head bowling coach in program history. With the deep tradition of athletics, combined with the passion of helping supply the building blocks of a young man’s or woman’s journey with Christ, I am ready to get to work and add to the tradition of being #BuiltByBethel,” he says.
Interested students can complete a prospective student-athlete questionnaire at BethelCollegePilots.com.