Aldo Belmonte said he was “shocked and honoured” to be given an award dedicated to Doc Ed Kee last week, recognising his service to fostering bowling at a junior level.
Belmonte, the father to current world number one Jason, was overjoyed at comparisons to Kee.
“I’m very humbled to get the award for a man who dedicated his entire life to bowling,” Belmonte said.
“He worked with juniors for 40-odd, 50-odd years fostering junior bowling.”
Kee spent nearly two decades as Australia’s junior bowling coach, often heading overseas with youngsters and training juniors on weekends.
“He took teams overseas and never came back without medals… I can’t think of one instance of him coming back without one kid getting a medal, and that was in 15 or 20 years of being national coach,” Belmonte said.
“He never asked for a penny yet spent many years overseas. I’m shocked and humbled… no-one can emulate what he’s done.”
The Doc Kee award was designed by Tenpin NSW as a way to commemorate the work Kee did for bowling.
Kee also spent years coaching Jason, which makes a nice circle back to the Belmontes.
Belmonte said he needed to share the thanks.
“My name’s on the award, but it’s not just me,” he said.
“We have a super-coach in Jason Brown who does a lot and my wife Marisa does a lot of promotion and work behind the scenes.”
Belmonte and his wife Marisa have owned Orange Tenpin Bowl for 30 years.
Orange Tenpin Bowls coach Jason Brown said he thought Belmonte was a worthy winner of the award.
“The amount of work he does with tournaments in Orange is huge, he tries to keep the sport of bowling going and puts lots of effort into it, bringing different elements into it,” Brown said.
“He gets major events from cities … a lot of places in the country would never see the those sorts of events.”