Top local bowler, Ivan Tse Chun-hin, says the secret to his skills on the lane is all in the wrist. “It’s like a yo-yo,” says Ivan, 16. “I use my wrist to release the ball, so it will spin faster. This also generates greater momentum, hitting as many pins as possible.”
Strikes – knocking down 10 pins with the first ball – are essential to winning a game, but it’s very tough to hit 12 strikes in a row for a perfect score of 300.
Ivan says 220 points per game is a more realistic target. “It’s important to always try to hit more than 220 because it means you have a chance of winning,” he added.
To increase his chances of getting strikes, Ivan practises his footwork and five-step approach in every training session. “Footwork training takes a lot of patience,” he says. “It’s like a domino effect: if one part is not doing well, other parts are affected.”
Ivan won two silver medals and a bronze at last month’s 27th East Asian Tenpin Bowling Championships in Guam. He won silver in men’s doubles and Five Baker format, and a bronze in trios matchplay.
The CCC Mong Man Wai College student also claimed the Hong Kong Island & Kowloon Secondary Schools Competition – BOCHK Tenpin Bowling Cup last year, scoring 290 in one set to win the award for high game score.
Ivan wants tenpin bowling to be more popular in Hong Kong, and says that hosting more international competitions could be the answer.
“These tournaments can help Hongkongers know more about the sport and support us,” he said. “Taking part in them will also let us compete with the world’s leading bowlers, giving us valuable experience and helping us cope with the pressure.”
He also thinks that bowling stars like Wu Siu-hong should hold sharing sessions at schools or teach the sport during PE lessons.
Ivan hopes to follow in Wu’s footsteps and turn professional one day, but for now he’s focusing on next Monday’s ABF Tour – Macau 2016, where he is hoping for a top-three finish.
Who is your favourite athlete?
I look up to Wu Siu-hong, who is a very talented bowler. After recovering from testicular cancer, he became the first local bowler to win the 51st QubicaAMF World Cup in Las Vegas, in the US, last year. He has inspired me to persevere and be tough every time I encounter difficulties during competitions.
What song title best describes you when you’re playing your sport?
The Script’s Hall of Fame. Its lyrics, “You can beat the world/ You can beat the war”, reminds me to stay strong and produce better results.
What is your favourite food?
Bananas; they contain vitamins and minerals essential to athletes.