A Global Game, Played Locally

By Emily Rennes
October 11, 2022

Tenpin Bowling is played in many countries around the world, many of which will be part of the World Cup on the Sunshine Coast this November.

We can’t all start at the top though, so Tenpin Bowling Australia continues to look for ways to include our global communities more locally.

One way to ensure our global citizens can connect to their local tenpin bowling centre is to consider offering an inclusive ‘learn to bowl’ program. Two local centres in Victoria have already embraced the opportunity; Wyncity Point Cook and Oz Tenpin Chirnside.

Tenpin Bowling Australia has been working with Welcoming Australia and the Victorian Government funded ‘Together More Active’ initiative for Tenpin Bowling. This initiative aims to ensure that anybody can get into tenpin bowling, further expanding TBA’s Playful Connections strategic pillar. The program helps people who may not speak English as a first language and/or might be recent migrants, who come from diverse cultural backgrounds, find a sense of community through sport.

In partnership with Welcoming Australia, and with the help of the Victorian Government’s ‘Together More Active’ support; TBA has run three four-week Bowl Abilities style programs to better understand any barriers that culturally diverse groups might experience, and also to support our staff, infrastructure and program resources.

Lane Ranger Renee Gaitanis with Chin Community learner bowlers at Oz Tenpin Chirnside Park

Welcoming Australia’s Active Inclusion Coordinator, Vanbawi Thawng, was delighted with how the programs rolled out. “We’ve had great support from the centres, I met with Jonathan [Wyncity Point Cook] this morning and Rebekah Commane (coach, pictured middle) did a fantastic job supporting our groups on Monday – the youth group and this morning with the elderly group as well. Thank you for organizing the support coaches,” Thawng said.

Across town at Oz Tenpin Chirnside Lane Ranger and Tenpin Bowling Association of Victoria’s Renee Gaitanis ran the introductory program for the Chin Community. More than 15 locals learnt tenpin bowling basics, opening them up to the opportunity to bowl more often, some even considering joining a local league!

Tenpin Bowling Australia’s Sport Program & Development Manager, Emily Rennes has been delighted by the response.

 “We were worried that the barrier to participation for migrant communities might’ve been around language – but we don’t need too many words to learn how to bowl! Using supportive resources like a word board, or having an interpreter able to assist can make the difference,” Rennes said.

“That, and supporting the centre and coaches to be considerate of customers who may have never bowled before.

“Going back to basics, demonstrations and plenty of positive encouragement get us over most of the fear of learning how to bowl.”

Within the initiative, TBA is a partner with Welcoming Australia, a non-partisan movement and organisation committed to cultivating a welcoming culture, where people of all backgrounds have equal opportunities to belong, contribute and thrive.

To find out more about this opportunity, check out TBA’s inclusive learn-to-bowl programs to help build your leagues and ensure you’re making local communities feel welcome.