Featured Bowler – May

Tom Chuter

What did you study at university? Town Planning and Development at Nottingham Trent University

What do you do as a day job? Property Manager

High Game: 298

High Series: 787

How long have you been bowling? 14 years

How did you start bowling?

As a kid, I grew up in a deprived area that didn’t really offer much in the way of entertainment, sport, etc. My friend’s parents offered to take us to a Youth Bowling Club that they had heard of in the local area. Within a month, my sister and eight other friends from our neighbourhood had joined the YBC, with all of our parents getting involved in helping to run the league and bowling in other leagues too!

Is there anyone who has been influential on you as a bowler?

There are far too many to name every individual! Growing up bowling with Ryan Mitchener was definitely key to what I achieved later on in bowling, having aspired to the ranks he climbed to so quickly. All of my coaches, who volunteered countless hours of their lives passing on their knowledge and imparting their passion to others is always something I will be thankful for, particularly Dave and Jan Steiner who continue to help myself and many others to this day. That said, I have made many friends around the globe through the opportunities bowling has given me. Each one of them has had an impact on me in some way – good, bad, indifferent, whatever – for which I will be eternally grateful.

You have been heavily involved in the BUTBA Tour for quite a while. You topped the Student Male rankings in 2012/13, held the role of Club President at Nottingham Trent University in 2012/13 and 2014/15 and acted as BUTBA’s Student President/Club Development Officer through 2013-15. What have you been able to learn and take away from your time on the BUTBA Tour?

The biggest pleasure by far was the opportunity BUTBA gave me to impart my love and (sort of) knowledge of the sport on my academic peers, which in many cases appears to have been infectious, as many of them love and enjoy bowling to this day. I’ve learnt many life lessons from my time on the BUTBA Committee which continue come in useful to this day, both in my career and personal life. Ultimately, BUTBA allowed me to ‘pay back’ and contribute in a small way to the sport that has given me so much throughout my life.

On a personal level, my own bowling peaked whilst competing on tour. BUTBA gave me the platform to achieve some of the goals I wasn’t able to whilst competing at a youth level. Being No.1 on the tour individually and with the NTU team in the same year was never something I thought would be achievable.

What has been your most memorable moment on the lanes to date?

Again, there are just so many! The final game of the BUCS Championships in February 2013 against Loughborough, however, tops the list. Having been a few hundred pins up after singles, doubles and trios, Loughborough managed to narrow our lead so much that it became neck on neck all the way to the tenth frame. It was easily the most terrifying, nerve wracking tenth frame I’ve ever bowled, but the feeling of winning the BUCS gold medal was second to none.

The reaction from everyone in the tournament when I left an 8-10 split on ball twelve for a 298 at the 2013 Leeds Doubles is a close second though!

What are your personal targets/ambitions for this season?

I’ve not been able to bowl much on tour this year for various reasons and don’t compete at the level I used to, so for BUTBA Tournaments I have but one ambition – to enjoy myself.

My next tournament is the Inter County Championships in London, in which I’ll be representing Hampshire’s U25’s for the last time… and we fully intend to win!

What kit is in your bag at the moment?

LOL – what isn’t there?!

League Set: Spare Ball, Rotogrip – Grenade, Ebonite – Cyclone, Storm – Freakin’ Frantic, Motiv – Covert Revolt, Storm – Virtual Gravity Nano Pearl

Tournament set: Spare Ball, Storm – IQ Tour Solid, Rotogrip – Defiant Soul, Radical – Ridiculous, Radical – Guru Master, Rotogrip – Hyper Cell (and occasionally some of the league set make an appearance if needed!)

What one piece of advice would you give to our new tour members?

Bowling is a truly wonderful and accessible sport. It can be as much a professionalism to one as it may be a past time to another. Take it as seriously – or not – as you please. If you want to improve and build your skill, grasp one of the many opportunities available to you around the country. If you just like going to a few games casually, maybe have some drinks and food whilst you’re at it, that’s great too. Whatever bowling is to you, enjoy it for your own reasons; make the most of the opportunities it can give you and share the sport you love with others – the more the merrier!

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