At just 14-years-old Rayson Law is one step closer to one day realising his dream of representing Hong Kong in lawn bowls when he won the Youth Novice Singles competition last weekend.
The competition, which was played at the indoor greens at the Ap Lei Chau Sports Complex, is open to bowlers under the age of 18 years who have never won any national competitions or youth competitions.
Previously it was open to bowlers under the age of 25, however the age barrier was lowered for the first time this year to encourage the participation of more younger players.
A total of 44 youngsters, including 36 boys and eight girls, participated in the three-day competition, which culminated with the Final on Sunday March 23.
The competition format is a multiple level round-robin. Players are divided into 11 groups in the first round. The winner of each group and one best second qualified for the next round. In the second round the players are divided into three groups, with the top two of each group qualifying for the next stage.
Law, a Form 3 student from Yan Oi Tong Tin Ka Ping Secondary School, won all games in round one and won two of the three games in the second round to enter the final round. He won three and drew one game to top the final round and took the first trophy of his short bowling career.
Law, who just started bowling two years ago, first encountered the sport when he was at primary school.
“The school introduced us to lawn bowls during some extracurricular activities and I found it very interesting. After I moved to secondary school I decided to take up the sports regularly, so I joined the Youth Athletic Scheme,” said Rayson
He played for Tuen Mun Sports Association occasionally and is considering joining the Youth Team to improve his game.
“I am very interested in the sport and hopefully I will represent Hong Kong one day,” he said.
The runner-up was 11-year old Chow Ho Yin, a Primary Grade 5 student, who has played bowls for four years. Despite beating Law in the final roundrobin, he lost two games both by one shot to come second.
Ho started bowling because of his parents’ influence, who are both also bowls enthusiasts.
“I think lawn bowls is a good exercise for me and helps my concentration,” said Ho. “But I need to focus on my study at the moment, so will not join the Youth Team until I am admitted to secondary school.”
Warren Kwok, Vice-President at the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association in charge of youth development, was very pleased about the event.
“It seems that more and more kids are into lawn bowls nowadays and we hope they will become a new generation of bowlers with whom we can build on and raise the overall standard in Hong Kong,” said Kwok.
Claudius Lam is an Officer with the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association.