In searching for better results at the international level, the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association has made a move by sending some of its senior and junior squad members to Australia for two weeks of training.
The team, which includes four men, four women and six junior members, will fly to Melbourne tomorrow (Feb 7) for intensive training organised by Lachlan Tighe and Choo Yih Hwa, both former national coaches of Malaysia.
In addition to the training, all team members will play in qualifying matches for the Australian Open – arguably the biggest and most lucrative bowls event in the Southern Hemisphere.
“The training will not be possible if lawn bowls was not granted the status of Tier-B elite sport last year,” according to Heron Lau, Vice-President (International) of HKLBA. “We have planned for such training for quite some time, but it did not materialise due to funding issues. The new funding support paved the way for the training and hopefully we can get the most from the players participating.
“Lack of international experience has always been blamed for the near-miss of the Hong Kong team during major tournaments. Such training programs, along with the opportunities to participate in a major tournament, will provide the players exposure at international level and this will definitely help their future development,” said Lau.
The team selected for the training was based on a number of trials and drill tests conducted last December. Originally a total of 15 players were selected.
After a series of 10 training sessions in January, one junior squad member was dropped due to poor attendance, cutting the squad number to 14.
During the training sessions, renowned Hong Kong sports psychologist Roy Chan was deployed to supervise the training, in a hope to further enhance the effectiveness of the sessions.
“It is a shame that some of Hong Kong’s top bowlers are not available for the tour, but we believe this will definitely help those who are going,” said Lau.
In addition to the training in Australia, 11 members of the Hong Kong Youth Development Team also departed for Malaysia last Sunday (Feb 2) for five days of intensive training conducted by coaches from the Malaysian Lawn Bowls Federation.
This is the second consecutive year that HKYDT members were sent to Malaysia for training during the Chinese New Year period.
The Hong Kong delegates
Men’s Team – Raymond Ho, Tony Cheung, Kevin Fung, Stanley Lai
Women’s Team – Helen Cheung, Mercredi Yeung, Alice Lee, Sanlia Wong
Junior Team – Vivian Yip, Amy Choi, Simpson Chang, Wilson Lau, Adrian Yau, Arthus Lam
Manager – Walter Kwok
Coach – Rita Shek, Danny Ho
Youth team co-ordinator – Arthur Yiu
Claudius Lam is an Officer with the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association.