Paeng's new gig - The Game of my Life By Bill Velasco

    02/19/08

    Philippines

    Republished courtesy of The Philippine Star - Manila, Philippines (Feb. 16, 2008)

    2008ISCPaengNepomuceno.jpg Four-time World Cup champion bowler Paeng Nepomuceno has been absent from the local bowling scene in recent months. It's not because he's been on vacation. The world record-holder for the most number of international tournaments won is now playing on a bigger stage, and it begins at the United States Bowling Congress in snow-covered Greendale, Wisconsin.

    "I was appointed by the USBC as International Ambassador for bowling sometime last year to promote the sport of bowling worldwide," Nepomuceno told The STAR in an e-mail. "One of my assignments aside from giving exhibitions and clinics and making appearances around the world is to certify coaches in various countries."

    Nepomuceno, who has won a World Cup in three different decades, is a member of the first batch of United States Bowling Congress (USBC) coaches from outside the continental United States. He is currently taking a Silver certification course which ends on Saturday (Sunday Manila time).

    "It is for the first time that the USBC Coaching international has gone global and it is the only teaching program recognized by the US Olympic committee," Nepomuceno adds. "The coaches that I train don't have to go to the States anymore to get certified. I go to their country and once they pass the test after the seminar gets to be Certified USBC coach."

    The 50-year-old champion has certified 79 coaches thus far, from the Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, China, Indonesia, Brunei, Australia and Singapore. The left-hander was also invited to exhibitions in Milan, Italy and Melbourne, Australia, where he conducted clinics, as well.

    Coaches receive their certifications by mail directly from the USBC.

    "Paeng has been a model coach and ambassador for USBC and the sport of bowling," said David Garber, co-director of USBC Coaching, from a story on the USBC website.

    On Jan. 3, Nepomuceno, wearing his trademark Philippine flag bowling uniform, was conferred the Presidential Award of "Champion of Life of the Order of Lakandula" by President Arroyo at a ceremony in MalacaƱang Palace. He was also named "Best Filipino Athlete of All Time" by both Houses of Congress.

    Having done an outstanding job certifying coaches at the Bronze Level, Nepomuceno is aiming for a Silver certification this weekend.

    "This keeps me busy whenever I am not in competition. Yes, I still bowl," Nepomuceno confirms."Only last October, I won Australia's most prestigious tournament which is the South Pacific Classic held in Melbourne. It was significant because that win was my 118th career victory which is a record recognized by the World Tenpin Bowling Association."

    That was what compelled the MalacaƱang recognition.

    Beyond coaching, Nepomuceno has an even bigger task, one which will complete what Arianne CerdeƱa's gold medal victory in the Seoul Olympics in 1988 began.

    "One of my main tasks as International ambassador is to help bowling be included in the Olympics someday."

    Knowing Paeng, we know it will only be a matter of time.

    Ā 

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