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Tenpin Bowling World Youth Championships

Jack Kerr

  • 6.67% funded
  • £ 100.00 pledged
  • Days Left

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Hi! I’m Jack, I’m 18 years old  and my sport is tenpin bowling.
Although it’s one of the biggest sports in the USA and across Asia, many people in the UK don’t realise that bowling is a sport you can compete in at club, county, national and international level and there’s a lot more skill to it than you’d imagine!

I’ve lived in Nottinghamshire for five years but I was born in Stirling and lived for most of my childhood in the tiny county of Clackmannanshire. I grew up bowling with Stirling YBC (Youth Bowling Club), who I still compete for, and I continue to bowl for my native Scotland both nationally and internationally. I’ve been bowling since the age of 7 and have represented my country in the national junior team for the last six years. To date, I’ve competed for Scotland in three European Youth Championships and five Junior Triple Crowns and am about to embark on my biggest challenge yet – taking the international stage at my first World Youth Championships in Nebraska, USA.

My allegiance doesn’t only lie north of the border, however, as I’ve also competed in England for my youth bowling club, Nuneaton Vipers YBC, and have been called up to play for the Nottinghamshire County adult men’s team for the last two years. Despite being ineligible to play for the team due to already being a Scotland internationalist, my sportsmanship and camaraderie was rewarded when I was offered a place in the Junior Team England Training Academy and trained there with the squad for two years. I’m currently helping to set up and coach for the newly-formed Mansfield YBC to, hopefully, pass on some of my skill and enthusiasm to local children and teenagers.

I enjoy being an ambassador for my sport and was honoured to be chosen as Gedling Council’s Young Sportsman of the Year (11-16) in 2013, and Young Sportsperson of the Year (16-21) in 2014 and, in the same year, to be voted as Scotland’s Junior Bowler of the Year. I’m also lucky enough to say that I’ve achieved every tenpin bowler’s dream – the elusive perfect game where the maximum score of 300 is achieved by hitting an unbeatable 12 strikes in a row. Actually, I’ve done that twice!

So, how do you become a winning tenpin bowling star? Well, there’s no secret formula really, but I would say that practice, perseverance and concentration are most important for me. I bowl competitively three times a week and have coaching and practice sessions at least twice a week. I need to be consistent and stay focused because every tournament is important – I have to do well in those to secure my place in the Scotland team and qualify for the international championships. Stamina and a high level of commitment are needed too, especially given the amount of travelling involved to compete in around 12 tournaments in Scotland annually on top of various team training sessions there.

Tenpin bowling in Scotland is almost entirely self-funded by the competitors and has become increasingly expensive for me, as I now travel further for training and tournaments, pay for private coaching and need better equipment to compete at such a high level. I have worked various jobs over the last few years to help pay for my bowling, including a paper round in Ravenshead village, waiter at a nearby pub and I’m currently working in a small local supermarket. I’m really grateful that all of my employers have been so supportive in allowing me time off work to compete, as I depend on the income to top up my family’s contributions.

The downside of working two jobs, of course, is that practice time on the bowling lanes and time for schoolwork is sacrificed; however, because my dad (who is also my coach) isn’t able to work at the moment due to illness, I will need to continue doing this for the foreseeable future to lessen the financial impact on my family. I’m just about to leave Sixth Form College and am hoping I’ve done well enough in my A Levels to allow me to follow my dream of achieving a bowling scholarship at a university in America.

That dream was given a boost earlier this year, when I was approached by one of the top professional coaches in America. Based on having noticed a video of me in practice, that was posted on Facebook, he has offered me a place on his university team and a sports scholarship. He was full of encouragement and told me that I “have a lot of potential and could be a great asset to the team, as well as evolve to a world class level”.  As much as I would love to take him up on this offer right now, I have had to decline for financial reasons – however, he has kindly agreed to defer the place till next academic year, which will allow me time to take a gap year and focus on working hard to raise the necessary funds, a substantial amount of which are needed just to meet the requirements  for attaining the student visa.

My family and I would love to see my profile being raised sufficiently to attract some sponsorship and/or crowdfunding, initially to help me get to Nebraska for the World Youth Championships and, beyond that, to contribute towards my own efforts to raise the finance to accept the place on the university team. That will give me the best chance of competing at the highest level in the world and determine if I have the potential to become a successful professional bowler.

I hope you like the Rewards I have offered and will choose to get involved – even sharing my project on your social networking sites or by email will raise awareness and could make a huge difference and I’d really appreciate that exposure. And please, get in touch if there’s another Reward you’d like me to offer or if you feel you can help in any other way. Raffle prizes, such as vouchers from businesses, would help with my fundraising too.

Please donate what you can. I’ve given a list of some approximate costs below to show how your pledge could contribute.

Thank you so much for your support – I really do appreciate it!

Tenpin Bowling World Youth Championships, Nebraska

Flights: £950
Hotel: £400 (my portion – team of 4 sharing a room  for economy)
Transportation of bowling balls: £350 (my share of freighting costs)
Domestic Travel: £100
Tournament Shirts: £80
Practice at Venue: TBC
Entry Fees: $275 paid by STBA (Scottish Tenpin Bowling Association)
Plus all meals, sports drinks etc at the venue
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+Achievements

World Youth Championships (Scotland team)

2016 (July/Aug) Nebraska

European Youth Championships (Scotland team)

2016 Iceland // 2015 Germany // 2014 Denmark // 2013 Austria (qualified and attended as a supporter, but couldn't compete due to injury - broken wrist)

Junior Triple Crown (Scotland team)

2016 (Aug) Norwich, England // 2015 Tallaght, Ireland // 2014 Coventry, England // 2013 Dunfermline, Scotland // 2012 Cwmbran, Wales // 2011 Tallaght, Ireland // - I have medalled in every tournament with the highlight being 2014 in Coventry where I won Gold in the U16 All Events as well as Gold in the Trios and Silver in each of the Singles, Doubles and Team events.

Junior Irish Open (YET - Youth European Trophy)

2016 (Nov) - U19 // 2013 - U16 Bronze // 2009 - U12 Silver // 2008 - U12 Gold // 2007 - U12 Gold

Junior Welsh Open

2013 - U16 Gold // 2012 - U16 Silver

JTE Tour (Junior Team England)

Since moving to Notts in 2011, I have competed in many JTE tournaments across England including the British Open, North of England Open, Lincolnshire Open, Torquay Doubles, Poole Doubles and Junior London International to name but a few. I have won numerous medals and trophies, including several Golds, and finished the tour each completed year in a rankings position that would have allowed me to compete for a Team England place. However, as a Scotland team bowler, I am ineligible to also bowl for Team England. I was also accepted for the Team England Training Academy and attended for two years before having to stop to dedicate my time to competing and training in Scotland.

Scottish Juniors

I have been competing in junior tournaments in Scotland for over 10 years and have won most trophies and medals several times over. I've been selected for the Scottish national team for the last consecutive 6 years and, as you can see above, have competed across the UK and Europe. I've also been boys' team captain at several events. I now also bowl in the adult ranking events in Scotland which has led to my selection for the World Youth Championships this year.

Gedling Council Sports Awards

2014 - Junior Sportsperson of the Year (16-21) // 2013 - Junior Sportsman of the Year (11-15)

SAYBC - Scottish Association of Youth Bowling Clubs

2014 Bowler of the Year Award

Nottinghamshire County

Selected for the Nottinghamshire County Adult Men's team for the last two years.

+Thank Yous and Updates

Not long to go now...

Getting really excited about going to the World Youth Championships in Nebraska. Just found out temperatures could be as high as 100F - hope the air conditioning at the bowling alley is working!

Photography thanks

Just want to give due credit and say a huge thank you to Drew Williamson who took the photographs I've used here. We are so lucky to benefit from your skill, talent and hard work and I want you to know how much it's appreciated. Thank you :)

Thanks to Iceland supporters (No, I don't mean the football fans!!!)

I want to take this opportunity to give a shout of thanks to everyone who supported our sponsored 'Walk to Iceland' to help raise funds for my trip to the European Youth Championships. Thanks to my mum, my sisters, my gran and my aunt for doing the walking and to everyone who, very generously, donated sponsor money. Thank you also to Iceland (the company, not the country!) for donating gift vouchers.

Don't see a reward you fancy?

If none of the rewards on offer are quite to your liking, then please let me know what you'd prefer to receive and how much you'd be prepared to donate. If it's feasible, I'll be happy to add your suggestion to the list so you can receive your wish. Let's see how creative you can get! Be kind :)

Thanks

First 'thank you' for making a donation on my Pledge Sports page goes to my gran, Beth Anderson, who has already supported me very generously. Thanks again and I'll make sure you get your postcard from Nebraska! I also want to thank Elizabeth Masters who has made a donation to be shared by the Scotland team and to the 'anonymous' donors - you know who you are! Thanks everyone.

Thanks

Another thank you, this time to Max Lawson who has donated generously to the Scotland bowlers going to Nebraska for ‪#‎WYC2016‬. Ice cream sounds like a brilliant suggestion since we're likely to be melting in temperatures of over 100F!

Thanks

Many thanks to Fiona Erskine for another generous contribution. Really appreciate your support. Watch out - it will be Euan off to WYC before you know it!

The journey begins...

Just set off on the first leg of my trip to the World Youth Championships in Nebraska. First stop - overnight in Edinburgh. Thanks to everyone who has sent messages of support already.

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