TRIBES OF HONG KONG都市部族

Exploring the city’s subcultures探索香港各類有趣文化

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Meet the Bowlers

From left: Michael Mak, Vannese Tang and Ivan Lo

專訪保齡球手左起:麥卓賢、鄧小燕及羅逸軒 IF YOU THINK

ten-pin bowling is a repetitive sport, you’d be mistaken – just ask the players. ‘I like the game for its unpredictability, with the lanes’ conditions based on oil patterns being the major variable,’ says Ivan Lo, a fixture in Hong Kong’s bowling leagues. ‘You need to hone your observation and analytical skills to master it. It’s a psychological game. Brute force won’t get you anywhere.’

Bowling has declined in popularity in the past few decades – it requires specific facilities and expensive equipment, while not having the prestige of being an Olympic event – but it’s doing well in Hong Kong, with players promoting the sport and organising inter-school games.

Vannese Tang competes occasionally, but she’s mainly a coach now. She teaches small children and secondary students, while also leading the Hong Kong team at the Asian Para Games. Tang points out that bowling is easy to pick up, making it accessible to most. ‘All you need to do is walk into a bowling alley,’ she says. ‘If you show some eagerness, other players will be happy to instruct you on your form and ball selection. It’s a great social sport; it requires a group of players after all. Everyone wants to win, but then afterwards we go out together for food.’

But bowling has plenty of politics. ‘Some people get boastful if they think they’re good, and some just play it all wrong,’ says Lo. ‘That will get you a bad reputation. There’s actually a lot of etiquette in bowling.’

Michael Mak, who represents Hong Kong at international competitions, decided to become a professional bowler at age 16. At last year’s World Bowling Championships in the US, he and his team took home gold – a first for Hong Kong. Mak’s team is optimistic about their chances at the forthcoming Asian Games, but they’re also hopeful about the sport’s future. ‘I believe bowling will flourish in Hong Kong,’ he says. ‘For instance, we’ve seen more charity events incorporate bowling, raising the sport’s profile. This is important for its development.’

The Hong Kong International Open Tenpin Bowling Championship is held from 25 to 30 June. The Asian Games are held in Jakarta from 18 August to 2 September.

假如你

認為保齡球是一成不變的運動,那就大錯特錯了,你大可向經常參加保齡球聯賽的球手羅逸軒求證,他說:「我喜歡保齡球不可預測的特性,球道的油路變化(球道上的保護蠟油)是影響打球主要因素。球手必須鍛鍊出觀察力及分析力,它其實是一場心理遊戲,並非只靠蠻力。」

過去數十年,保齡球因為營運成本昂貴及未被納入奧運而日漸式微,可幸香港一直致力推廣保齡球,不時舉辦學界聯賽,令這項運動發展不俗。

十年前開始打球的鄧小燕閒時也會

參加比賽,不過她大部分時間是當教練,除了教授中小學學生外,更帶領香港隊參加亞洲殘疾人運動會,好讓這項運動能發揚光大。她還指出學習打保齡球並非難事,適合任何人士:「其實只要走進保齡球場就行了。其他球手會先觀察你想不想繼續精益求精,如果看到你有志進步的話,他們便會指導你的打球姿勢及球重選擇等。保齡球是一項十分友善的運動,畢竟打球還是大夥兒一起才會開心吧。我們雖然都會盡力求勝,不過賽後還是會一起吃飯增進感情。」

羅逸軒補充:「其實保齡球是一項非常著重禮儀的運動,有些人會認為自己球技了得便態度囂張,或亂打一通等,這樣只會招來話柄。」

麥卓賢是香港保齡球隊代表,16歲便決定成為專業運動員,去年更於美國的世界保齡球錦標賽與隊友為香港奪得第一面金牌。適逢亞運即將開始,他的團隊對比賽充滿信心,更深信這項運動前景一片光明。他說:「我認為保齡球在香港的發展會愈來愈好,例如我們見到更多慈善活動以保齡球為主題,讓普羅大眾更加了解這項運動,對其發展大有裨益。」

香港國際保齡球公開賽定於6月25至30日舉行。亞洲運動會將於8月18日至92月 日在雅加達舉行。

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