King’s choices bowls them over

Anyone who has been to the King’s
Sports Centre recently will have noticed that the newly installed bowling alley
is a popular addition to the many activities already on offer. It was the
brainwave of King’s owner Rex Ebanks who felt the 2,000 square feet space being
used for aerobics classes could be better served as a bowling alley although
the $200,000-plus investment for the four lanes will take a while to be
recouped under the present economic climate. Since January recreational bowlers
have enjoyed knocking the pins over with the added benefit of having a licensed
bar there to drown their sorrows if their scores did not live up to expectations.

“I feel this has completed the
place as a sports centre,” Ebanks said. “It’s nice coming in and seeing all
ends being filled. As well as bowling there’s karate, hockey, five-a-side
football, the gym upstairs… especially on Saturday mornings when families
come in to utilise King’s Sports Centre. It’s the only sports centre of its
kind in the Caribbean and even in the US there are few with this total

The bowling is reasonable – $50 in
the week and $60 at the weekend for one hour lane reserve, including the shoes
and then $10 per person per game. 

“We need continued support to
maintain the property,” Ebanks said. “Sometimes it gets very frustrating
because I’m not sure people appreciate what we have done as far as providing
sports in the Cayman Islands and people recognising the big risk we took. We’re
touching $4 million upfront cost just to erect this place. The original cost
seven years ago when we opened was $3.5m and we’ve continued to upgrade and do
our best. In the summer we have to pay something like $10,000 a month just in
utility bills.”

Ebanks has two other gyms, one at
Countryside and will be opening another in Governor’s Square next month. He is
grateful to King’s athletic director Ray Singh for developing so many
programmes that have helped bring in much needed revenue. “It’s amazing what
Ray has done. He has done extremely well on his end of the sports centre,
especially with the bowling. So too Eric Ebanks, the bowling manager, who came
in with no knowledge of bowling and in a very short time has taught himself how
to fix and operate extremely heavy and complicated machinery.

“To the general public I say come
out and support us. We need more people exercising in the Cayman Islands. Money
should not be a problem. Come in and talk to us. It’s a family-friendly centre
and we’ll work with you.”


Rex Ebanks has ploughed over $4m into King’s
Photo: Ron Shillingford