Tenpin Bowling Association of Queensland chair Michael McKenna presents Jessica Allen with the Volunteer of the Year award.
Tenpin Bowling Association of Queensland chair Michael McKenna presents Jessica Allen with the Volunteer of the Year award. Robert Vettiger

Be bowled over by volunteer of year's dedication

FORMER South Burnett tenpin bowler Jessica Allen has come a long way since using her grandmother's old bowling ball.

Allen was awarded the Volunteer of the Year award at the Tenpin Bowling Association of Queensland Gala Awards function on Saturday, March 30.

Allen grew up in Murgon, before moving to Kingaroy and started bowling when she was a teenager.

"My parents bowled and I used to come along and bowl with them,” she said.

"I actually used one of my grandmother's old bowling balls.”

She left the game for a number of years, but came back to it in her late 20s.

"I decided I really like it,” Allen said.

The Queensland tenpin bowling team coordinator said for her, volunteering her time meant the players could focus on what they needed to do.

"I love my sport and I like to make sure the team can go away with the smoothest trip possible,” she said.

"The bowlers can just worry about the bowling.”

And she is certainly the right person to be in a coaching role, boasting some impressive bowling scores.

"I think my best score is 288. A few years ago I did actually win the National Title in the Australian Classic Cup,” she said.

Allen is proud to be acknowledged for her volunteer work and said she only hoped more people would get involved.

"Volunteers are dwindling, more and more people are time-poor these days,” she said.

"I wasn't expecting it (the award). It was nice to be appreciated.”

The Kingaroy Tenpin Bowling Association also presented Allen an award in appreciation of her five years of service to the disability community in Kingaroy, and her outstanding contribution as a volunteer.

"I would actually coach a handful of the guys every Thursday afternoon,” she said.

"If you were having a down day, they would always put a smile on your face. A lot of people could learn a lot from them.”

The former Kingaroy bowler has now moved to Toowoomba and works full-time at the Sunset Superbowl centre.

Kingaroy is well known for its strong bowling connections - Tenpin Bowling Association of Queensland vice-president and emcee for the awards function, Morty Douglas, owns and operates the bowling centre in Kingaroy.

Another Kingaroy stalwart, Geoff Armstrong, was also presented with an award by the Kingaroy Tenpin Bowling Association for his tireless support and valued contribution as a volunteer.