Jackson students to compete overseas

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Don't be surprised to hear a few "G'day, mates" around the Jackson Bowling Lanes later this summer.

A pair of Jackson youths will be among the People to People Ambassadors contingent heading to Australia and New Zealand for a bowling-themed trip in July. Another Jackson teenager will be heading Down Under for a swimming trip with People to People.

Kyle Litchfield, 18, a senior at Jackson High School, and freshman Jessica King, 15, will work on improving their bowling skills and compete in a tournament in New Zealand.

"We'll train a few days in Sydney," Litchfield said. "Then we'll go to New Zealand and compete in a tournament there. We're going to do some other things like go to Bondi Beach, and I think we're going to do some rock climbing in New Zealand."

Litchfield, who began bowling about six years ago, bowls a twice a week at Jackson Bowling Lanes. He averages in the 135-140 range.

"I just wanted to do something different and something that was an individual sport," he said.

King has been bowling for about four years and averages in the 115 range.

People to People Ambassador's bowling trip begins July 28.

Dustin Kaminskey, a 14-year-old eighth-grade student at Jackson Junior High, will leave July 14 to be a part of People to People's swimming trip.

"He's always wanted to go to Australia," said his mother, Melissa Kaminskey. "He has to do research on the culture and write reports. It will be good for him to see the diversity of the people but it will also be good for his swimming."

A true olympic-size pool

The swimming contingent will have the opportunity to utilize the pool that was used for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. The swimmers also will spend a week in New Zealand.

Kaminskey has been swimming for five years and currently swims with the Southeast Aquatics League.

The pre-trip process for People to People includes an interview process, meeting the chaperones and sports directors, and orientation meetings in Memphis, Tenn.

Traveling to Australia will cost each participant thousands of dollars.

One of King's fund-raisers includes a giveaway of a quilt made by her grandmother. Kaminskey has sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts and also is having a junior high dance April 23 at the Elks Lodge in Jackson. All three have sought donations from businesses in the area.

Melissa Kaminskey said the fund-raising process also was an important learning experience for her son.

"It's good to teach him about earning his way," she said, "and he's not just handed this. He's been doing odd jobs for people and things like that. It teaches them they have to earn it."

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