HONG KONG—Top Hong Kong bowler Ken Chan and his mother Anna made history when they became the first ever mother and son Bowler of the Year in the same season in Hong Kong.
Their achievement was based on another record-breaking result during the season, when they won the men and women’s National Singles titles respectively.
Ken went on to win the National Pairs with his Kowloon Cricket Club team-mate Noel Kennedy and accumulated enough point to win his third Bowler of the Year award, which he also won in 2005 and 2008.
Ken is obviously happy to win the honourable award again and he attributed the success to his maturity: “In the past I was emotional and hot-tempered. Since my grandmother passed away a couple of years ago, I started to realise that life has its ups and downs. When I turned to religion to find an answer I learned how to tackle my problems with patient, calmness and to be considerate to others.
“I also applied such attitudes into my bowling and I am glad that they helped me to excel in it. Winning or losing is not my concern anymore, I just enjoy playing and try to improve myself in every game. I am happy to have had a peaceful and joyful life, under the guidance of the Lord. To win is just a bonus.” Ken said.
He is a great fan of Nick Vujicic, the Australian Christian evangelist and motivational speaker, and uses his quote “To wish for change will change nothing. To make the decision to take action right now changes everything” as his motto.
“When we fail we should try again. Life is not just about result, but how you live it,” said Ken.
Ken started bowling at the age of 10, under the influence of his parents Tony and Anna. Over the year he won a lot of national titles and is one of the most decorated bowlers in the territory. At the age of 29, he is now the highest ranked player in the Hong Kong squad and has represented Hong Kong on many occasions.
His major achievements include five U25 Singles, two National Singles, three National Pairs, five National Triples and two National Fours titles. At international level he won a gold medal at the 2000 Asian U25 Championship.
Anna, who played for City Lawn Bowls Club in the current season, won the National Singles and was the runners-up in the 242 Pairs during the year. She edged out Knock-out Singles champion Angela Chau by six points to take the award.
Anna, who works for Hongkong Electric, said that the Lamma ferry tragedy on Oct 1, 2012 has affected her playing attitude a lot, “After attending some of my colleagues’ funeral ceremonies, I suddenly realised how fragile life could be and how lucky we are. We need to treasure every moment we have with our family and friends, and respect every game we play.
“I started to take each game seriously with enhanced enthusiasm, play every game just like this is my last one. Results came in when I improved my concentration during each game.”
She is particularly grateful to the two other members in the Chan family. For husband Tony is his tolerance to allow her skipping housework for bowls, and to Ken for being her personal bowling trainer.
“I never forget the importance of family. You only win when everyone is united, the family, the team-mates and all those who support you,” said Anna.
Being the National Singles champion, both Anna and Ken will represent Hong Kong at the World Champion of Champions in Christchurch this November.
In what is described as the deadliest boat accident in Hong Kong in 40 years, a boat owned by Hongkong Electric carrying more than 100 people to watch the Chinese National Day fireworks collided with a ferry in waters off Lamma Island on Oct 1, 2012. A total of 39 people died after the accident.
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 year will be the Bowler of the Year.
The current record holder for the men is George Souza Jnr from the Craigengower Cricket Club, who has won it four times in 1982, 1986, 1990 and 1991. The women record is held by Camilla Leung from the Hong Kong Football Club, who won it three times in the last decade.
Claudius Lam is an Officer with the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association.