State Over 50s Tenpin Centre Challenge gets cheeky

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Bundaberg Team 1 members Keith Miles, Jan Mummery, Eddie Knight, Graeme Mummery and Pat VanHeerden at the State Over 50s Tenpin Centre Challenge.

Hoping to strike it lucky and take out this year’s State Over 50s Tenpin Centre Challenge, teams from more than six centres hit the lanes at Bundy Bowl.

The State Over 50s Tenpin Centre Challenge is in its 17th year of competition after it was started here in Bundaberg by Bundy Bowl and Leisure Complex owner Peter McElligott and his late mum Bobbie Noonan.

Peter said in 2002, he and Bobbie decided there wasn’t enough competition for the overs 50s when it came to tenpin bowling.

“There was a lot of things for the juniors and people with disabilities, but we couldn’t really find anything for the over 50s,” Peter said.

“So we put out a letter to each of the centres around Queensland asking if they wanted to take part and we had a very successful response.

“Mum was one of the originals and there are still many of the other originals here again today and that’s why we have a lot of bowlers over 65 years old.”

State Over 50s Tenpin Centre Challenge
Bundy Bowl and Leisure Centre owner Peter McElligott, Bee Schlaikier and Josie Sommer at the State Over 50s Tenpin Centre Challenge.

A little bit of cheek in the competition

Peter said the four-day competition was all about having fun, enjoying each other’s company and sometimes even getting up to a little mischief.

“There are always lots of characters here. There is one lady, Bee, who has been wearing her bikini outfit every year for the last 12 years. It looks like a bikini but it's not and at a certain time on a Sunday she will bring it out and everyone will wolf whistle at her!” he said.

“One of the key things we started 17 years ago was a little thing where people either had to whine for their wine, or cheer for your beer, and at the end of every game we do a lane change and we have a song by Dean Martin called That’s Amore that we put on that song, and if you dance you get a drink and if you don’t you don’t get a drink, so of course they are all up dancing and singing. The general public come in and this what’s this all about – but we all really love it!”

Bee Schlaikier from the Suncity Tenpin travels from Caloundra to take part in the annual competition and said she wouldn’t miss it for the world.

She had the honour of opening the State Over 50s Tenpin Centre Challenge by taking on Bundaberg Regional Council’s sport and recreation portfolio spokesperson, Cr Helen Blackburn, in the initial bowl.

“Yes, Helen beat me but I let her win,” Bee said.

“I’ve been coming for 17 years without a miss!”

State Over 50s Tenpin Centre Challenge
Arthur and Betty Munro from Logan City enjoy their 58th wedding anniversary at the State Over 50s Tenpin Centre Challenge at Bundy Bowl.

Bundaberg teams on a winning streak

There are four Bundaberg teams who bowl in the State Over 50s Tenpin Centre Challenge each day and together they have taken home the championship title the most.

Arthur and Betty Munro from Logan City said although they had never won a championship over the years, they were sure bowling had helped their marriage stay strong, as they celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary.

“It’s an activity to do together and it's fun and they're both important,” Arthur said.

The State Over 50s Tenpin Centre Challenge wraps up on Sunday.

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