Bowling is right up their alley

Swinging to good health… Madam Yong Xin Yang (2nd from left), 83, and Mr Ng Ah Tee (middle), 74, with several participants of the Kinect bowling sessions held weekly at Toa Payoh.

MADAM Yong Xin Yang lifts her right arm slowly, her face rapt with concentration. With steely eyes and hunched shoulders, the 83-year-old takes a deep breath, lunges and swings her arm forward forcefully in one swift motion. And it’s a virtual strike! 

Madam Yong is part of a group of about 16 seniors who gather every week at the void deck of Block 170 in Lorong 1, Toa Payoh, to compete in a friendly game of Xbox 360 Kinect bowling.

Launched in 2013 by Care Corner’s Senior Services, the Kinect bowling sessions are held from 10am to noon every Thursday. Volunteers keep track of the scores while close to 20 other seniors gather around the television screen to cheer these players on.

So far, Kinect bowling has proven to be a hit with the seniors.  

Phebe See, Unit Lead of Care Corner Senior Activity Centre (SAC), said: “Several of our seniors who were more reserved gained confidence after participating in this activity. Now they always clamour for a chance to play!

“Kinect bowling also helps strengthen the legs of those who struggle to stand for long periods of time.”

elderly kinect

Eyes on the pins… Kinect bowling is a virtual game that senses players’ movements to simulate an actual game of bowling.

Mr Ng Ah Tee, affectionately nicknamed “MRT” by seniors and volunteers at the centre, frequently participates in the bowling sessions.

The sprightly 74-year-old, who works as a cleaner, said: “I’ve been playing Kinect bowling ever since they introduced it at the centre. It’s not too difficult. You can grasp it easily as long as you have the heart to learn.”

green shirt bowl

No breakdown for “MRT”: 74-year-old Mr Ng has been bowling at the SAC since 2013 and doesn’t intend to stop any time soon.

For Madam Yong, however, mastering the game required more effort.

“Initially, I was very afraid. What if I couldn’t hit the pins? Very paiseh leh!” she said.

Today, the active octogenarian breezes through a game. 

pink shirt bowl

In the pink of health… Madam Yong may be 83 but she remains active by engaging in her hobbies like dancing and bowling.

“The more I bowl, the more confidence I gain. When all the pins fall, I’m very happy. Kinect bowling is good exercise and I enjoy it very much now,” she added.

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