18th April, Kuching: Participants and officials were entertained to a spectacular and traditional performance during the opening ceremony of the 20th Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships at the Megalanes Sarawak, Batu Kawa, Kuching on Thursday.
The championships returned to Malaysia after a 23-year break when Malaysia hosted it at Genting Highlands in 1996. The championship is hosted by the Amatuer Bowling Association of Sarawak (ABAS) endorsed by the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress and fully supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Sarawak.
The official opening ceremony, graced by Guest of Honour, YB Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and SPorts Sarawak on behalf of the Right Honorable Datuk Patinggi Dr. Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari, Cheif Minister of Sarawak.
Also present were Ms Vivien Lau, BBS, JP, Honorary Life President of Asian Bowling Federation, Mr Sunny Si, President of Amatuer Bowling Association of Sarawak, Mr Maradona Chok, Secretary General of Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress, other dignitaries and distinguished guests and team officials.
The emcee, Mr John Koh kicked off preceedings with the introduction of the guest of honour and other dignitaries before requesting all in attendance to stand up for the Malaysian national anthem and the anthem of the State of Sarawak.
Representatives from SMK Abang Road gave a lenghtly drums performance depicting all the various multi-ethnic and diverses cultures of Sarawak entertaining all the players, officials and a packed house of spectators.
He then invited members of Team Malaysia, Shahrukh Amin and Nur Syazwani Sahar to take the athletes oath on behalf of all the players and Muhd Fazreen Radzuan and Lily Rogermason to take the officials oath on behalf of all officials.
Mr Sunny Si gave his welcoming speech before handling it over to Ms Vivien Lau, delivering the speech on behalf of ABF. The guest of honour, YB Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah then delivered a speech on behalf of the Cheif Minister of Sarawak.
Mr Si, on behalf of Amatuer Bowling Association of Sarawak then presented a token of appreciation to the guest of honour, YB Datuk Hajo Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah for his time off his busy schedule to grace the opening ceremony. All in attendance were then invited to a welcome reception at the Megalanes Sarawak, Batu Kawa.
Earlier, a team managers meeting was held at Imperial Hotel which was attended by team managers and officials. A total of 40 boys from 10 countries and 36 girls from 9 countries confirmed their participation.
Ms Vivien Lau gave a welcome address on behalf of the President of Asian Bowling Federation, Sheikh Talal Mohammad Al-Sabah before handling the meeting to Dr Danny Santos, Tournament Director. Dr Santos went through all the technical matters pertaining to the championships.
Mr Doug Dukes, representative from Kegel Inc., is the appointed Technical Delegate who will provide lane maintenance services for the championships. Ms Suwalai Satrulee, 1st Vice President of World Bowling and Vice President of Asian Bowling Federation, Mr Alexander Lim, Exco-Member of ABF and Mr Maradona Chok, Secretary General of MTBC were the appointed Jury of Appeal.
The official practice will be held tomorrow and the competition will kick off with the Singles for the Boys and Girls, divided into two squads.
The Doubles, also divided into two squads will be staged on April 21. The Team of Four, conducted over two blocks of three games will be contested on April 22 and 23. The top 16 boys and top 16 girls with the highest pinfalls from the Singles, Doubles and Team of Four (total 18 games) will qualify for the Masters finals.
The Round-Robin Matchplay Masters finals, to be held over two blocks of eight games on April 24 and 25 will decide the top 3 boys and top 3 girls with the highest pinfalls proceeding to the Stepladder Shootout finals.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuching, Sarawak.