Striking comeback for tenpin

Kingpin Bowling Centre's Rupert Marlowe believes the reformation of a youth club help Suffolk's junior side return from the doldrums of county tenpin bowling.

Stuart Watson

By Stuart Watson

Kingpin Bowling Centre's Rupert Marlowe believes the reformation of a youth club help Suffolk's junior side return from the doldrums of county tenpin bowling.

Marlowe, who is now the operations manager at Kingpin, came up through that youth club and represented a highly successful Suffolk side in the mid-1990s.

However, since then, Suffolk have fallen behind their county rivals, with many of their top young bowlers choosing to represent Norfolk or Essex.

Two years ago the Suffolk side, open to the best under-21 bowlers, took a further blow when the popular youth club at the Martlesham-based Kingpin centre folded due to the lack of a coach.

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Marlowe said: “We have a lot of people that are returning to the game after getting a bit older, so if we could top that up with some youngsters I think Suffolk could return to where they were.

“We would be willing to pay a coach to run the youth club, we just need someone to pick it up and run with it. We would even sponsor them to go and get their BTBA qualification if required.”

In an attempt to raise junior interest in the game, Marlowe has arranged a Schools Challenge event at Kingpin this Thursday.

The event aims to involve as many primary and secondary schools in the surrounding area as possible and is completely free to enter thanks to sponsorship from Kingpin, Coca-Cola and Barnes Construction.

The day, which will see ten teams of 16 compete on a handicap system, aims to raise £3,000 for various charities.

Marlowe said: “We understand that the best young sportsmen and women will go into the likes of football and cricket, so tenpin bowling is an ideal sport for those that want to do something different.

“Although it's a good form of physical exercise, it's not physically exhausting, and the beauty is that everyone can do it, no matter what size, age or ability you are.

“The Schools Challenge first started last year and the handicap system we ran worked really well because all the different age groups could play on an even keel.

“The kids love it because it's one of the few sports that they get the chance to beat their teachers in!”

There are still places available on the Schools Challenge event, which starts at 3.30pm on Thursday. To book your school in call Rupert Marlowe on: 01473 611111.

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