Soc of the Week 22.02.13: Ten Pin Bowling Club

Leeds Student Soc of the WeekClub Captain and Coach: Paul Turner

Membership: £10/year for social £20/year competitive

Regular meetings: Wednesday 2.30-5pm, First Bowl


Facebook: Leeds Uni Tenpin Bowling Club

Ten pin bowling has often got a bad rap over the years, dismissed as the stuff of children’s birthday parties and… children’s birthday parties. It tends to be brazenly overlooked by sport enthusiasts and unfairly deemed inferior to more traditional sports such as rowing, football and rugby which dominate university culture. As such, many deny themselves the chance of discovering a sport which is highly-skilled, competitive, fun, and incredibly sociable, and which has earned the opportunity to prove itself far beyond the realms of bewildered nine-year-olds hopelessly chucking heavy balls into the gutter. It is one of the only sports in which you can drink alcohol at competitive events; and although there are separate men’s and women’s teams, it is one of the few sports with mixed-gender teams. The sport is a very popular choice among people with disabilities, such as blindness and deafness.

LUU’s Ten Pin Bowling Society has been going since 1965, making it an integral part of the Union’s history and culture. Members meet weekly at First Bowl in Leeds on Wednesdays. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed, yet focused and challenging, with on-hand coaching from the society’s experienced captain, Paul. Having bowled since he was eight years old, and competed consistently since then, he now competes in the British University and College Sports’ yearly ten-pin bowling competition.

BUCS is essentially a two-day weekend with lots of events, including doubles and singles games, with around 200 clubs taking part. The prizes often consist of beer and chocolate (who needs trophies?), and with many tournaments on a handicap, novices could be well-placed to win a prize. And… you’re even allowed to drink alcohol during the games! Wahoo! (You can do this in darts, but bowling is clearly a lot sexier).

Ten Pin Bowling Society is very easy to get involved with, whether you’re a novice or an expert, and also boasts a great social aspect too, with frequent outings and socials. It has a sponsorship with Carpe Diem, meaning 2-for-1 meals and cocktails every Wednesday after bowling. Members also get great deals on balls, bags and kit from the Pro-shop in First Bowl.

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words: Frances Black

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