Francis Yeo is acting national head coach for Bowling

The Singapore Bowling Federation (SBF) yesterday announced the appointment of Francis Yeo as its acting national head coach.

The 54-year-old had his first coaching stint with the Singapore Tenpin Bowling Congress - before it was renamed the Singapore Bowling Federation - from 1996 to 2001.

He rejoined the SBF in 2005 and has been looking after the bowlers' development since 2014 as the national deputy head coach.

"SingaporeBowling is proud of our dual-development programme - grooming athletes as well as coaches," said Jessie Phua, president of the SBF in a press release for the association's annual awards night at Royal China at Raffles Hotel last night.

"So far, we have been very blessed to be able to do well on both fronts.

"I'm both happy and proud that Francis has agreed to take on this heavy responsibility of leading our team.

"It's an awesome team that he will lead, expectations are high and I'm confident that Francis will bring our team to new heights."

Yeo is aware of the enormous task he has taken on but is relishing the challenge of improving the bowlers and delivering results for Singapore.

"It's one hot seat that some will love to have it, some will not want to sit on it," he admitted.

"But, to me, if the opportunity comes, why not?"

Yeo has wasted no time in getting down to work, preparing the bowlers for the Hammer Bronzen competition and the Emir Cup later this month.

He highlighted that continuing the momentum for the men's team is one of the key challenges he will be focusing on.

"I think our men did pretty well at the SEA Games," said Yeo of the team who won a gold in men's doubles, a silver in men's trios and a bronze in men's singles.

"We want to keep the momentum going and we want to build up the men's team to become bigger and stronger."

At last night's awards ceremony, Shayna Ng was named the Bowler of the Year and received a second award for Outstanding Achievement after winning the World Women's Bowling Championship last December.

The Youth Bowler of the Year award went to 18-year-old Joey Yeo.

Four bowlers - Justin Lim, Alexander Tan, Ilma Nur Jannah and Kristin Quah - were also given plaques for being in the national squad for five years.

Ng believes that the association appointed the right man for the job and the national teams - both men and women - will grow from strength to strength under Yeo's stewardship.

"He's always been the behind-the-scenes person, he's not the main coach who always gets the limelight, (but) he's always behind us," she said.

"For him to be where he is today, it is nothing more than hard work that actually shows results," she said. "I think it's a good move for Singapore bowling."

This article was first published on Feb 13, 2016.
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