Bowler's harvest prompts funds call
Sunny Hui Cheung-kwok's gold medal success in the Asian Games has prompted the Hong Kong Tenpin Bowling Congress (HKTBC) to ask for more funds to retain the services of their American coach Purvis Granger.
HKTBC chairwoman Vivien Fung said she would write to the Sports Development Board (SDB), the SAR's funding arm, requesting special grant to hire Granger on a full-time basis.
Granger was hired by the HKTBC from March 1997 specially for the Asian Games.
Fung said it was important to retain the 34-year-old's services, adding that Hong Kong had scope for improvement.
'The SDB provided limited subvention and we are hoping we will get more funds to hire him on a full-time basis,' said Fung.
'It's very important to retain him.
'You can see how much we have improved with the help of his services. Purvis had actually put in more time and effort than he should have.
'If we retain him, I have every confidence we will perform even better [in the international arena].' Granger was paid $8,000 per month from August, 1997, to March, 1998, and the fee was increased to $10,000 from April, 1998, to December, 1998.
Fung said Granger had not been on a contract, although she hoped that would now change.
She was confident the HKTBC would get $200,000 in funds from the SDB to hire the former professional bowler full-time.
Granger said he wanted to be retained, adding that Hong Kong have good bowlers, although they lacked knowledge in the game to a certain extent.
'With very hard and dedicated training, they can achieve even better results,' said Granger, who provides bowling supplies to the region, including China and Hong Kong.
He also helps set up pro-shops all over China.
Hui's victory was the second gold medal won by Hong Kong in tenpin bowling at an Asian Games after Cat Che's success in Seoul, 1986.
'I think it was wonderful that he won,' said Granger.
'I had never been in a place where there had been so much emotion. He deserved every bit of credit.
'They say that I am a good coach but Sunny [Hui] trained very hard and he told me how badly he wanted to win the gold.' Granger was a professional bowler for 15 years, appearing often on national TV in the United States as a regular competitor on the US-based Professional Bowlers' Association (PBA) Tour.
Hui won the gold medal in the men's masters grand final, beating Taiwan's Wu Fu-lung by 73 pins and finishing his event with three consecutive strikes.
His unexpected victory was described by local tenpin bowling officials as a bolt from the blue.
Although Hui had won last year's Hong Kong International Open, he had not been expected to be among the medal winners.
Hui also earned a handsome windfall for himself, winning $500,000 thanks to the incentive scheme offered to Hong Kong athletes by the Government.