Simon De Cesare said that the Eden Leisure Group had offered to donate to the Malta Tenpin Bowling Association six tenpin bowling machines to be installed in a separate venue while works are ongoing at the Eden Superbowl but the local governing body had turned down the offer.
The Maltese Tenpin Bowling community was left in shock on Monday following news given at short notice that the Eden Superbowl will close for the next few months due to works to revamp the facility.
In a statement, the Eden Superbowl said the facility will close on January 8.
The news inevitably sparked a huge backlash by Maltese tenpin bowlers with Malta Tenpin Bowling Association president Edward Mifsud accusing the government of ignoring their proposals of building a 12-lane bowling alley that were submitted last October.
While the MTBA president expressed his disappointment of seeing his sport left without a venue for the next few months, De Cesare, said that the Eden Leisure Group had offered to the governing body six bowling machines to be installed in a separate venue, but the association turned down the offer.
“Looking at what has been written and said against the Eden Leisure Group after what we have done for the sport for the past 35 years is very disappointing,” De Cesare told the Times of Malta.
“During this period we were happy to collaborate with the MTBA and we offered them huge subsidies for their members to make use of our facilities. Suffice it to say that we charged them 50 cents per game when our normal rates were €8.50, while always leaving more than half of the lanes available for them.
“Added to that, last week I offered to the MTBA president to donate six bowling machines to be installed in an alternative venue so that they could continue with their activities. However, he turned down our offer – so I don’t know what more I could have done.
“I firmly believe that our collaboration with the association played a big part in why the sport of tenpin bowling has been so successful over the years.
“That is why it’s very disappointing to be portrayed as the bad guys in this situation when we always tried to give the sport the recognition it deserved. It is ridiculous that after 35 years of service and compromise the world is falling for a four-month break.”
The Eden Leisure Group Director said that his company were not planning to close down the venue for such a long time, but due to unforeseen circumstances, they were forced to decide for the safety of everyone involved.
“Our original plan was always to try and keep the venue open for as long as possible,” De Cesare said.
“However, some circumstances that were beyond our control that came out just a week ago forced us to change our position as we had to safeguard the safety of everyone involved. This closure comes at a huge cost for us as we are losing a considerable amount of money.
“When we confirmed to the MTBA next year’s calendar, at the time we had no plans to close down. Added to that once the decision to close was made, we had to move our staff to other departments to ensure that nobody lost his job.”
De Cesare said that he is looking forward that the project will be completed in time by the end of April and had no doubt that it will provide a bigger attraction for young bowlers which could push them to start practicing the sport.
“Despite all the criticism received, our intention remained that to continue to collaborate with the MTBA and host their events,” De Cesare said.
“I think the new facilities will be a huge attraction for children to start practicing the sport and no doubt it will be a great opportunity for the association to grow. It will be a great opportunity to attract more people to the new facilities and introduce them to the sport.”
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