Interview with WTBA Presidential candidate Kevin Dornberger



    KevinDornberger_small.jpg Bowlingdigital caught up with Kevin Dornberger (pictured), who is the current Chief Officer-National Governing Body and interim Chief Operating Officer of the United States Bowling Congress (USBC), to talk about his candidacy for World Tenpin Bowling Association President. The election will be conducted August 29 during the WTBA Congress which will be held in conjunction with the Women's World Championships in Monterrey, Mexico.

    Question: Why did you decide to seek the WTBA presidency?
    Kevin Dornberger: "It appears that there is a current rift between the WTBA and FIQ. They don't function well together and we need that to happen for our sport to move forward. That's a big step in bowling becoming a viable Olympic candidate. There are things that are only achievable through a unified effort rather than a splintered one."

    Q: What kind of an impact can your role as the interim Chief Operating Officer at USBC have on the WTBA?
    KD: "I think it can be a very positive impact because one of the WTBA's primary issues is that it's a volunteer organization with no dedicated full-time employees. All of WTBA's programs rely on the efforts of volunteers who often have many obligations in their home countries. I have the benefit of having employees at USBC to whom I can delegate to assist with WTBA duties and know that they will have the time to accomplish the tasks."

    Q: What are some challenges facing WTBA?
    KD: "One of the challenges is the current restriction against professional bowlers competing in our championship events. Another issue is that it's very difficult for developing federations to make strides to improve their programs. It's hard for some countries to get funding on a consistent basis and it can be difficult for them to know where to start to build a competitive program. WTBA needs to assist in coordinating funding and developing improvement programs for these countries."

    Q: USBC has announced it will open a training facility next year. How will other countries be able to benefit from this announcement?
    KD: "Our training facility will have the best coaching and the most technologically advanced coaching tools available. I believe the United States has a track record of success at the international level and we are happy to share our knowledge."

    Q: Later this month in Monterrey, Mexico, the WTBA Congress will vote on whether to allow professional bowlers to compete in its events. Why is this significant?
    KD: "It's significant because the International Olympic Committee has said on numerous occasions that if your sport doesn't allow its best athletes to compete at the highest levels that it is not a viable Olympic sport candidate. Baseball is out because it sent minor leaguers and bowling will never be in until we can send our best athletes."

    Q: Other than allowing pros, what else has to happen to get bowling in the Olympics?
    KD: "Bowling needs to become more spectator friendly as far as helping people follow the results and understand who is leading as competition is in progress. We have to find a way to make bowling more appealing to a diverse audience of people around the world. As we acquire more spectator and media interest, we will then be able to acquire more sponsorship interest."