“I take part in championships on my own expense.” [Archives:1998/44/Sports]
Wa’el Hussein ‘Amer, 30, is fond of bowling. He played this game for many years, and is looking forward for it to become popular in Yemen. Wa’el represented Yemen in the International Bowling Championship (1997) held in Cairo, paying wholly for himself.
Yemen Times met this young man to know his story with this game, which is new in the Yemeni spots fields.
Q: When and where did you start playing the game?
A: I started playing bowling while studying in Jordan in 1987. My level improved noticeably, with continuous training, after participation in the Jordanian University championship (1988). After graduation, I returned back to Yemen and stopped playing bowling, because of the lack of bowling facilities. During my travels abroad, I participated in some championships held in Amman and Cairo.
Q: Do you wish to make bowling more popular in Yemen?
A: Yes, this is my ambition. Bowling is an interesting, commercially profitable game, but the cost of a bowling alley is pretty high.
In the year 2000, bowling will be included in the international Olympic games. I presented a project for establishing a bowling center to the Yemen Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Q: Yemen does not have a bowling association, how were you invited to participate in the International Bowling Championship in 1997?
A: Within my personal contacts, the Asian International Bowling Federation invited me personally to participate in the International Bowling Championship (1996) held in Ireland. Later I declined to attend because of lack of funds.
The following year the AIBF invited me again to participate in the 33rd International Bowling Championship which was held in Cairo by 1997. The Yemen Olympic Committee along with the Ministry of Youth and Sports nominated me to represent the country in this championship. Because I have to pay my own expenses and due to the lack of bowling centers in Yemen, the results were generally not encouraging. I came 72nd out of 82 participants from various countries. Things might get better for me if my country paid all expenses and provide training facilities.
Q: What is your last bowling participation in 1998?
A: My last participation was two weeks ago in October in the International Bowling Championship in Egypt. I came 40th among 56 competitors from 18 different countries.
Q: Since we do not have bowling centers in Yemen, how do you train?
A: I usually travel a month or so in advance of any championship to be able to train in private centres. This is what happened in the October International Bowling Championship in Cairo.
Q: Are there any more international championships for you to participate in soon?
A: I received an invitation from the Japanese Bowling Federation to participate in the next International Bowling Championship to be held in Tokyo in November 1999. My participation in this championship will cost me a lot, above what can my personal budget bear!.
Q: Is it possible to establish bowling centres in Yemen?
A: The role of the private sector is very important. Bowling is profitable from the commercial point of view.
I hope to form a Yemeni bowling association within my limited resources. I would like the private sector to invest money in bowling training centres to encourage sports and tourism at the same time.