Dedicated young bowlers on a roll
Lawn bowls is a sport with a long history. It was introduced to Hong Kong more than 100 years ago.
The white ball, called the jack, is rolled down the green at the start of the match. The players then have to deliver balls, called bowls, and the one who gets closest to the jack is the winner.
Young Post had a chance to talk to junior lawn bowls stars Desmond Hau Ka-chun, Angel So Ka-he, Olivia Yu Kwok-wing and Simpson Chang Ho-tin at the Hong Kong Football Club during the club's 125th Anniversary International Mixed Fours.
The combination came fourth in the group stage.
Angel represented Hong Kong in the Asian U25 Singles Championship in 2009. While many readers may think lawn bowls is a weak sport, Angel disagrees. 'It is physically and mentally demanding because a match may take hours,' said the Form Six student from St Stephen's Girls' College.
Desmond, 23, who is now competing at the World Cup in Australia, added: 'Lawn bowls can be played indoors and outdoors. Although the indoor games have air conditioning, it is not easier when compared with the outdoor games. The indoor surface has less resistance because it does not have grass. So bowls take longer to stop, making the game even longer.'
Desmond graduated from Lingnan University two years ago and now works part-time for the Lawn Bowls' Association.
Olivia, who won bronze at the Asian U25 Singles Championship in 2008, said her participation helped promote the sport at school. 'Sometimes I need to take leave from school for overseas competitions and my classmates know I am a lawn bowls player. I tell them it's a game of wits and mindset,' said the Form Five student from St Mary's Canossian College.
Simpson, a fifth former at PLK CW Chu College, is on the Hong Kong youth development team. 'Getting on the national squad is my target but right now my level is not up to standard. These big tournaments help me improve,' he said.
The governing body of the sport wants to have more local lawn bowls stars. It is planning to expand the Youth Athlete Lawn Bowls Training Scheme. 'Hong Kong lawn bowls has a bright history and our team has even won at the Commonwealth Games,' said Claudius Lam, vice-president of the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls' Association.
If you want to know more, you can attend the Inter-school Lawn Bowls Competition on Labour Day. Visit http://www.hklba.org/ for details.