By JULIE JAVELLANA-SANTOS
She holds the distinction of being the first Filipino athlete to have been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, having won two gold medals, the doubles event and singles, in the 1979 AMF Bowling World Cup in Manila.
Bong Coo, who is in the Bowling Hall of Fame, has amassed 77 medals (37 gold, 23 silver, 17 bronze) in regional and world events where she competed as a member of the national squad, making her the most bemedalled Filipino athlete of all time.
Her official website (http://www.bongcoo.thebowler.com.ph) said she has a total of 107 individual championships. She won least one Masters title in a span of 28 consecutive years. She won her 107th title at the Hiroshima Japan Cup Amateur Masters Championships in 1997, six months short of her 50th birth anniversary.
Being a sports hero of a generation and an icon, it was but natural that a Filipino organization in Saudi Arabia tapped her to put up a bowling clinic for children of overseas Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Thus, former OFWs got together last week and organized the "Summer Bowling Kamp," a bowling clinic for overseas Filipinos’ children, which was held on May 28 to 31, 2008 in Mandaluyong City, Philippines.
In partnership with PinoyKoopWorldwide
Manolo Benavent, interim vice-chairman and general manager of PinoyKoop Worldwide (PKW), who sponsored the event together with champion bowler Bong Coo, said she has always been their partner in endeavors like this.
Fifteen kids were enrolled in the program, all of them sponsored either by other OFWs or former OFWs. More than half of the children were also scholars of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Coo has partnered with PKW in providing three major bowling events this year for the Overseas Filipinos (Migrants/Workers/Reintegrees and their Dependents/ Relatives), Benavent said.
The PKW called the event a fun-filled family bowling activity and a productive summer for Filipino migrant children and adults. Graduates of the bowling camp will be organized into a bowling club from which an OF (overseas Filipino) Kids Team will be mentored and coached by Ms. Bong Coo.
PKW hopes the team will become a source of pride and honor for overseas Filipinos by competing nationally and internationally.
The Manila-leg of the Summer Bowling Kamp will later be duplicated in Baguio, Cebu and Davao.
The three-day event included a curriculum of combined classroom and on-lane sessions for beginners and intermediate bowlers. Topics include scorekeeping, equipment basics, ball fitting, approach fundamentals, spare shooting, adjusting for lane conditions and overview of the mental game.
Not the First Time
Benavent said that as part of Bong Coo’s social responsible project for the Overseas Filipinos sector, she has partnered with PKW in providing 3 major bowling events this year for the Overseas Filipinos (Migrants/Workers/Reintegrees and their Dependents/ Relatives).
The kids who participated were Danilo Pamintuan and Merlen Pamintuan with their child Rollin, Joemar Macanas, Sheilah Allarey and her child Celine, OWWA scholars Vincent Reas, Christopher Fermin, Klaire Renz Obo, Richell Joy Magpali, Rica Mae Bautista, Ma. Rogelyn Oledan, John Edmar Marin, Ma. Angelina Buenaventura, and Ronald Paul Apug.