Towards building Sarawak’s powerhouse of tenpin bowling
By Jude Toyat
With an even stronger drive to succeed and be crowned overall champion of Malaysia Games (Sukma) 2016, the Sarawak contingent is pumped up to regain glory for the state this year, especially after such a long wait since their last triumphant outing in 1994.
As daunting as the task may be for the coaches and athletes in view of the tough competition from other states, success is not unachievable, said Sarawak Sukma XVIII bowling team manager Robert Lu.
“We were overall champion for bowling in Perlis Sukma 2014, and we intend to get the title again this year. Nothing is impossible,” added Lu, explaining that the planning stages of training towards Sukma XVIII began the day they left Perlis in 2014.
The Amateur (Tenpin) Bowling Association of Sarawak (Abas) vice president said the team was targeting to win four gold medals out of 11 up for grabs in the mixed doubles, men’s singles, doubles, trios, team and masters, women’s singles, doubles, trios, team and masters.
Training was intensified three months ago with athletes training every weekday.
“Coaches need to make sure that the athletes are fit and have been sending them to work out at gyms for the past one year.”
To gauge the athletes’ skills and mental strength, furthermore, they had also taken part in several local championships and overseas tournaments to increase their competitiveness by playing against some of the best athletes in Asia.
The coaches, furthermore, have had the opportunity to upskill on bowling techniques as well as get updates on very technical aspects of the game like new equipment.
“We must look beyond Sukma so that the athletes can gain more confidence, skills and mental strength.”
Initially, the Sarawak Sukma XVIII tenpin bowling team consisted of seven boys and seven girls in their shadow team. After going through exposure tournaments, however, the coaches selected six boys and six girls based on their achievements and performance.
He noted that the team was lucky to have very supportive committee members including the Megalanes management and Abas.
Meanwhile, the Sarawak State Sports Council, National Sports Institute of Malaysia (Sarawak) and Ministry of Youth, Sports and Solidarity had also been providing them with continuous support to help them achieve their aim of making Sarawak ‘The Powerhouse of Tenpin Bowling’.
“Tenpin bowling has come a long way. We have an international standard 42-lane bowling centre at Megalanes Emart Batu Kawa, thanks to the hard working officials from Abas and the vision of Megalanes management.”
A much larger base will be created for their training programmes which include Pusat Cemerlang Program, Program Pembangunan, and the Elite Training Programme by Sarawak Sports Council.
“The Unit Sukan Prestasi Tinggi Negeri Sarawak programmes are also currently going on,” Lu added.
By creating a much larger base, the Sukma XVIII bowling team will have to train more coaches and get more talent in the pool of athletes.
“More talented youths mean more to coach so that they can be selected into the National Squad and ultimately become World Champs,” added Lu.
Over the years, the Sukma state bowlers have won two golds, one silver and one bronze at Terengganu Sukma 2008; seven golds, three silvers and two bronzes as well as being named the overall champions at Melaka Sukma 2010; two golds, four silvers and one bronze at Pahang Sukma 2012; and last but not least six golds, five silvers and two bronzes as well as the overall championship title at Perlis Sukma 2014.