|Kevin Dornberger - President, World Bowling|
|Profile of the week|
Monday, 18 August 2014 08:48
Kevin Dornberger is the current President of the World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA), first elected in 2007. The WTBA has 112 member federations and is the governing body for the discipline of tenpin bowling.
Kevin was elected FIQ President, the International Sport Federation recognised by the IOC for the sport of bowling, in 2011. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Bowling Congress (now USBC) for 20 years and USA Bowling’s Board for 9 years, being President from 1999-2001. Kevin has an ABC Championship Eagle, being part of the 2001 Team All Events Champions.
Kevin is a lawyer, previously being in active private practice, and thereafter served as the CEO of ABC’s for-profit subsidiary and the Vice-President, General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of USBC. Kevin currently serves as the CEO for WTBA.
Kevin lives in Arlington, Texas, USA, is married and has five children.
You became president of the WTBA in 2007. What led you to the position?
Well I’ve always been involved in bowling, I was an athlete for many years and a coach and then involved in administration in the US and it was just the next logical step to look at getting involved internationally.
How did it feel to be re-elected in 2011 and to continue working in the sport you have dedicated much of your life to?
It was gratifying. I had an opponent from Europe and unfortunately the voting lines were pretty much divided between Europe, Asia and Americas which, I hate to say, you’d like to think that you’re pleasing some of the people in all of the geographical locations but nevertheless it was gratifying to be re-elected and to continue what we’re trying to do.
Have you done anything differently during your second term compared with your first?
Well I think I had more time, I’m no longer working on any other tasks or duties, this is full time for me and I think we can accomplish much more in that manner. I think that being in enough places in the world, getting different viewpoints and cultural viewpoints has given me better understanding of where we can go and make everybody somewhat happy so I’m possibly a little more decisive than I was the first time I hope.
At this present moment what would you say is the current popularity of Bowling worldwide? How would you look to boost those numbers?
I believe we are the most popular sport, recreational sport in the world that’s not in the Olympics. The US does very comprehensive studies every year, by an independent company and they’re verified by an independent accounting organisation and we’ve always had a number worldwide that’s approximate to the US. That’s usually two times what the US has as the rest of the world and we get some good numbers from some of our federations. We get some moderate numbers and some are estimates.
As you’ve mentioned, you believe ten-pin bowling is the most popular sport not in the Olympics, do you see it becoming an Olympic sport one day?
I have regular conversations with the IOC sports department, so we’re working and they’re right, I cannot use what their thoughts are, but we’re working on making our events more attractive for spectators and outside media and I think if we do that then we will become more attractive to the IOC and other such entities.
Have you been involved in any initiatives to try and make it an Olympic sport?
Yes we have. We changed the bidding process for our World Championships. At one point in time we had congresses or members and we had two or three events up for a bid and it would really be 'who wants the championship, raise your hand' and they did it, and no money changed hands and you hoped they were confident at running a championship and providing an event for people.