Jack strikes to take Midlands tenpin title

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Ravenshead teenager and tenpin bowling star, Jack Kerr, put in a striking performance to show he was best in class at the Junior Triple Crown tournament held in Coventry.

This prestigious annual event is the pinnacle of the junior tenpin bowling calendar, where teams of U16 and U19 boys and girls from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales come together to compete for their countries at the highest level.

Jack (16) finished top of his division overall to take gold in the coveted All Events title, with an average score of 197 over 15 games.

Along the way to this golden glory, Jack gave his national team, Scotland, plenty to celebrate as he scooped up a further gold medal with his trios team and silver medals in the singles, doubles and team events.

Although Jack has lived in Ravenshead for three years, he continues to bowl for his native Scotland both nationally and internationally, having competed at the European Youth Championships in Odense, Denmark earlier this year.

Jack has been bowling since the age of seven and has represented his country in the national junior team for the last four years.

Jack’s allegiance does not only lie north of the border, however, as he also competes in England for his youth bowling club, Nuneaton Vipers, and has just been called up to play his first match for the Nottinghamshire County adult team later this month.

Jack is also Gedling Council’s current Young Sportsman of the Year (11-16) with the award recognising his previous achievements in tenpin bowling, such as winning the Junior Welsh Open and coming third in the Junior Irish Open.

All that in a year that also saw him achieve every bowler’s dream - the elusive perfect game where the maximum score of 300 is achieved by hitting an unbeatable 12 strikes in a row.

So, how do you become a winning tenpin bowling star?

“There’s no secret formula but I would say that practice, perseverance and concentration are most important for me,” he said.

“I bowl competitively three times a week and have coaching and practice sessions at least twice a week. My next big tournament is the Scottish Junior Open and I will need to do well in that to try to secure a place at the 2015 European Youth Championships in Germany.”

Readers may recognise Jack from his paper round in Ravenshead village or from his job as a waiter at The Bird in Hand in Blidworth where both employers are very supportive in allowing him time off work to compete.

“I really do appreciate them being so flexible with me, even though it is often inconvenient for them to bring in cover for me,” he said.

Although only 16, Jack has to work to help pay for his bowling which has become increasingly expensive as he travels further for tournaments, pays for private coaching and needs better equipment to compete at such a high level.

Jack and his family would love to see his profile being raised locally to perhaps secure a little sponsorship or funding for him, as the downside of working two jobs is that practice time and time for schoolwork is sacrificed.

Jack is entering Sixth Form at The Joseph Whitaker School and hopes to gain a good clutch of A Levels to allow him to follow his dream of achieving a bowling scholarship at a university in America.