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Tenpin Bowling: Review of Gibraltar's bowling in 2006

A League, sponsored by Norwich Union ----------------- winners Wigs
B League, sponsored by Sharrock Shand ----------------- winners Shandies
C League, sponsored by Interbuild ------------------------- winners Split Happens
D League, sponsored by Coldaire -------------------------- winners Pipework

The Uni-Flo Cup & Plate competition, sponsored by Uni-Flo Services Ltd,

Winners of cup
Lightning strikes beat Bowlten Wanderers & have won it for the 3rd consecutive year.
Winners of plate Ibex Raiders (sponsored by Ibex Ins.) beat Aquagib.

In the National Championships, Graham Coles won the men’s title, beating Kevin Stimson & Ian wood into 2nd & 3rd places. It’s the 3rd consecutive year he has won the title. Graham has now joined the committee & is hoping to pass on his skills by helping out with the youth programme. In the women’s section, Helen McGunnigle, a 2nd time winner, beat Charly Clark & Tracy Gathercole to 2nd & 3rd place.

This year we have also been very fortunate to have sent bowlers to a number of international events. The first two tournaments were run by the European Tenpin Bowling Federation.
In February, The Mediterranean Cup, held in San Marino, we sent 2 men & 2 women. This tournament is organized for all countries that border the Med. As it turned out, Spain pulled out at the last minute, the reason for which became clear in the next tournament we attended. During the tournament, our bowlers did very well in what turned out to be a very friendly competition & while we didn’t win trophies for the bowling, Kimberly Turnbull received the friendship award. We made great contacts with members of the ETBF committee, who were all very interested in our ambitions for bowling on the Rock.

In May, at the European Gold Cup, held in Foetz, Luxembourg, it all became clear why Spain pulled out of the Med Cup and now the Gold Cup. A letter to the organizers, from Spain’s Bowling Federation, explained that their Government had forbid them to participate in any tournament in which Gibraltar participated. After a few letters explaining our position on this, then a meeting just prior to the event, with Addie Ophelder, the ETBF President & the managers of the other participating countries we received the backing of everyone present. All agreed that it was Spain’s problem to resolve.

Again, the tournament went very well with Kevin Stimson & Kimberly Turnbull bowling extremely well, Kimberly coming 10th overall & just missing out on the finals by 20 pins after playing her 24 games. Again though, on presentation night she won the Sportswoman award.

In July, the Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling Federation Championships, in Melbourne, Australia. This event could well be included in conjunction with the Commonwealth games proper, with all the Commonwealth sporting federations, supporting the cause.
Ian Armsby, Julie Jackson, Helen McGunnigle & C. De La Rosa represented Gibraltar.

At the end of July, we sent 2 youths to the World youth championships in Berlin, Michael Wood & 13 year old Jeremy Cruz. This was Jeremy’s first international tournament & after a nervous start, he got used to the atmosphere & as the week went on, he increased on his personal best score several times ending up with a now personal best of 202. They have both learned much from the experience & this they can pass on during the youth coaching sessions. Our thanks go to the instructors & especially Niamh Whelan, for all her hard work in organizing the sessions.

In September, we had a surprise offer from a sponsor (who wishes to remain anonymous) to send 2 men to the Men’s World Championships in Korea.

Held every 2 years by the WTBA, this is the title everyone wants to hold. 247 bowlers from all over the world took part. Unfortunately, our two bowlers could not get to grip with the lane conditions, but despite coming at the bottom of a star studded field, learned much from many of the professionals taking part.

Last but by no means least, the 42nd Qubica AMF World Cup, held in Caracas, Venezuela.
Graham Coles represented Gibraltar in the men’s comp with Julie Jackson in the women’s.
Both started off with some pretty good scores. At the end of their 24 games, Graham did amazing to finish in 65th spot out of 88. Julie finishing 68th, out of the 75 women.

In all the tournaments we have attended, close ties have been made with many other federations who are now in regular contact with us. Everyone has shown great interest in the possibility of a tournament being hosted by Gibraltar, which, with the likely opening of the new leisure centre in September 2007, could soon become a reality.

The main boost for Gibraltar is the fact that the European & the World Tenpin Bowling Federations have backed Gibraltar’s right to attend international events under our own flag. An ETBF tournament, The European Champions Cup, due to be hosted by Spain in Sept 2007, has now been taken away from them due to there insistence, that Gibraltar cannot take part. The tournament will now take place in Foetz, Luxembourg. If only other World & European governing bodies, would give the same support to other sporting associations on the Rock.

Throughout 2006, we have had fantastic support, without which, we could not have taken part in these tournaments. The members & committee of the GTBA would like to thank:- Land Property Services, Valmar Pharmacy, Latinos, Lord Nelson, Norwich & Peterborough, Marrache & Co, Fastafood, H&S Property, Copywright, Ladbrokes & BFA.

And last but not least, Joe Hernandez and all his staff at the Gibraltar Sports Development Unit, without whom we would not be where we are today. Thank you all, we hope everyone has a happy, healthy & prosperous New Year.

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