Bowling dreams come true for Gibraltar sisters
What started off as a fun family activity when they were children has led sisters Kelly-Anne Borge and Kimberly Turnbull to bowl for Gibraltar in the Island Games.
This is the first time the sisters will be bowling in the same team and they are excited to do so.
Ms Turnbull, 31, said the sisters’ involvement in the sport started at the former USOC site, where Commonwealth Park is now, together with their mum, Annabelle, and dad, Gary.
She said: “Bowling was our childhood.”
“It was a family hobby and we made lots of friends there because it was a great family atmosphere.”
“The place just had two bowling lanes and they were not automated so we would have to throw the bowling balls back and get paid for putting the pins back on the lane.”
“Bowling was great fun and it helped us in many things including keeping our own scoring and the mental maths that went with it,” Mrs Borge, 28, told the Chronicle.
The sisters bowled competitively for a number of years and travelled to different locations to represent the Rock, but then their mum passed away and they stopped taking part in the sport in 2011.
“This was a large part of our lives and this was something we did together,” Ms Turnbull said.
Other things came up for both of them, including other hobbies such as painting or busy work and social lives.
But it was nearly two years ago that Ms Turnbull “got the bowling bug” when she started “dreaming of bowling”.
“I was reluctant to start bowling again,” Mrs Borge said.
“Kimberly asked me to join especially once we knew bowling was going to be a part of the Island Games and it makes it even more special.”
“But going to the lanes on the first day was emotional and nerve-wracking.”
Bowling took over their lives once again and the pair started practising and joined the local bowling association.
They qualified for the Ten Pin Bowling team, with Ms Turnbull scoring top for the qualifiers. They will be joined by their team mates Kathleen Murphy and Karen Smith for the competition this week.
Despite many people taking part in bowling socially, Mrs Borge explained that it is a whole other level when it comes to bowling for sport.
They have to get the right shoes, have the bowling ball fitted to their hands and those holes drilled at the right size, and the closest shops are in Malaga or London.
“After doing lunges with a 14lbs weight for two hours, it definitely feels like a workout,” Ms Turnbull said.
There have been interruptions to their training recently as the bowling lanes in Kings Bastion Leisure Centre were shut in preparation for the Island Games, but these are now “amazing” they said.
Recalling their childhood, they said their father helped design the bowling alley at the leisure centre and they remember seeing those blue prints at home.
“We got to throw the first bowling balls down those lanes,” they said excitedly, as they look forward to competing on those lanes once again.