Greatly improved young players Wong Chun Yat and Helen Cheung were officially confirmed as the best performed players in the past year when they were officially crowned with the respective men’s and women’s Bowler of the Year award last week.
The most prestigious trophy was presented at the annual Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association presentation dinner last Friday May 31, which also concluded its 2012-2013 season.
Wong, a 30-year-old interior designer who represents Kowloon Bowling Green Club, won the National Knock-out Singles, National Champion of Champions Singles, National Fours and also teamed up with his clubmates to win the Division 1 Champion Rink of the Premier League. He earned a total of 54 points from the competitions that he participated in to beat another young bowler, Ken Chan, by 11 points to clinch the title.
Wong became emotional when receiving his award explaining how he was relieved to finally find success after years of hard work developing his game.
“I worked hard for eight years without much success and then I won three trophies in two months,” said Wong.
“I won’t say they came as a surprise because I did put in effort for them and these achievements are not easy. But it was a relief when I put my hand on each trophy; I know my efforts were not wasted.
“It seems like I just woke up and decided to have a go to the top level. I am able to concentrate better on my game, which also resulted in an improved stability in my delivery. I want to perform in every bowl I deliver and that focus made me keep my form for a long period of time.”
Now he has set his sights on a higher level.
“The next move will be representing Hong Kong where I can test my ability at international level. With the right attitude, I truly believe that anything is possible.”
The women’s Bowler of Year, auxiliary police officer Helen Cheung, faced a tougher challenge for the trophy than Wong. Her triumph at the National Knock-out Singles earned her enough points to just pip Angela Chau, from the United Service Recreation Club, by three points.
The 2012 season was a magnificent year for Cheung’s bowling career, who just made her Hong Kong debut at the International Bowls Classic last November, making it through to the playoff in the Pairs. Then in the Chinese National Lawn Bowls Championship in May, she won a gold medal in the Mixed Fours and a bronze in the Women’s Pairs.
A delighted Cheung said that the Bowler of the Year award proves that whatever effort you put into the game, it will pay off one day.
“In the past year, I have been putting in extra efforts to improve my game and I am glad that these materialised into winning results,” said Cheung.
“I spent more time on training; modifying my tactics to suit different environments; observing my opponents closer; and made an effort to control my temper during games. They combined to bring a big improvement in my game.
“The results also prove that I am on the right track and boosted my confidence to do even better,” said Cheung.
Bowler of the Year criteria
Operating on a points system, players were awarded points for each game that they won at the six elite national competitions—namely the Singles, Knock-out Singles, Pairs, 2-4-2 Pairs, Triples and Fours. The player with the highest accumulation of points during a season (April 1 to March 31) will be the Bowler of the Year.
Wong is the 19th winner of the trophy since it was first introduced for men in 1982. The record holder is George Souza Jnr from the Craigengower Cricket Club, who has won it four times.
For women, the trophy was launched in 2001 and Cheung is the 11th winner. Camilla Leung from the Hong Kong Football Club has won it three times in the last decade.
Claudius Lam is an Officer with the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association.