FORMER national bowler Gerald Samuel is quite contented to just watch other people bowl these days, and is willing to impart his knowledge to others.
The 46-year-old, who is currently competing in the Asia Pacific Masters Games (APMG) 2018 tenpin bowling competition at the Mega Mall Bowl in Penang, is now the assistant coach of the Malaysian national squad.
Gerald sheepishly admitted that the APMG 2018 competition is the first time that he is bowling this year.
The last time he took part in a competition was also at the same venue in Penang, during the Penang Pesta International Bowling Championship held last December.
“I do not bowl much anymore since I started assisting (national head coach) Holloway Cheah in 2016. I just monitor the national players and coach them.
“This is my first competition in almost a year.
“It was difficult at first to get back into competition mode. You need to have the right feel and rhythm to do well,” explained Gerald.
Despite his rustiness, Gerald went on to win the silver medal in the men’s singles 45-and-above age category.
He amassed a total score of 1170 over six games (181-173-172-237-212-195), missing out on the top spot by a mere eight pins to Mio Pico from the Philippines.
Malaysian Tan Kok Pheng took the bronze with 1046 pins.
Penang holds a special place in Gerald’s heart as he was born here and spent his early childhood in the state.
“I have fond memories of my early childhood in Kampung Baru, Penang.
“My dad was a planter and so the family moved around a lot. I spent several years in Sabah before we settled down in Selangor.
“I started to bowl when I was in Selangor, and that is why I represented Selangor throughout my bowling career and not my home state Penang,” he explained.
He feels there should be more events like the APMG 2018 in Asia, and particularly in Malaysia to provide the Masters or senior age groups with avenues to carry
on playing in their respective sports.
“APMG is a very good idea, not only for tenpin bowling but other sports as well.
There are many people out there who still want to enjoy competitions, but do not have the platform to do so.
It is good and healthy if we are able to keep more people involved in sports for a longer period.”
Gerald, who joined the national senior team as a player in 1994, was a member of the men’s team which clinched second spot at the 2002 Asian Bowling Champion-ships in Hong Kong and was also part of the squad to the 2002 Asian Games in Busan.
He had a coaching stint with the India national team before joining the Malaysian squad as a coach.