Bounce! Bowling and More in the Bandar Mall in Maadi lives up to its name. Comprising a large space on the ground floor of the Bandar Mall, Bounce! boasts professional billiard and snooker tables, top of the line Baby Foot and Knockoff shuffle tables, electronic darts boards and of course bowling.
In the middle of the very clean and colourful hall 12 gleaming wooden lanes stretch out towards the back. Rows of coloured bowling balls are lined up on the side, seating areas with score boards provide chairs for those awaiting their turns and loud contemporary music booms from the speakers. The Bounce! bowling experience promises fun and lots of it.
“When we started in 1995,” Mohamed El Sawy, CEO and Founder of Bounce Sports Entertainment said, “bowling was banned in Egypt, it was considered gambling. We had to go through a whole legal process to remove the ban before we could open our first facility in Hurghada followed not long after by the Maadi location.”
Once Bounce! opened, success followed quickly in its wake. “Bowling was new to Egypt and people loved it, but by the late 90’s the appeal had faded. The novelty was gone and too many of the bowling alleys that had opened to cash in on the popularity did not invest in proper equipment which did not help the reputation of bowling in Egypt,” El Sawy explained. In 2009 El Sawy decided against closing the bowling alleys and decided to “rebrand, renovate and re-launch” and Bounce! Bowling and More surprised everyone by becoming highly popular.
“When you think about it bowling is very different from the general activities on offer in Egypt,” El Sawy said. “It is a lazy sport, you do something fun and you move, yet it is not like going to the gym. It does not involve food, it does not involve alcohol, you can do it with your friends and it is a family activity.”
Bounce! Bowling and More has a loyal clientele in Cairo, with teenagers making up the biggest group, closely followed by families and twenty-somethings. “We have two special lanes for families. The gutters on the side can be cranked up so the kids can properly participate in the game,” El Sawy said. “Our lanes are state of the art and you can feel the difference when you play. It makes our customers come back for more.”
But there is a lot more to Bounce! than just bowling. “We decided to invest in quality and to offer different indoor games. Our Baby Foot tables are the same ones where the International World Cup is played on, as are our Air Hockey and Knockoff Shuffle tables,” El Sawy said. “The dart boards we use are also used in international tournaments and we use plastic tip darts because we want Bounce! to be a safe family environment. The dart boards are electronic and automatically calculate the scores, so even beginners can enjoy a proper dart game.”
When asked if the no alcohol policy is strongly enforced El Sawy explained: “We want our facilities to be accessible for families and for parents to feel safe with sending their kids here. There is no smoking at the bowling lanes, only a small section in Bounce! is reserved for smokers.” This does not mean you have to go hungry or thirsty while playing. The adjacent Le Cafe caters to the clients of Bounce!
Bounce! Sports and More makes an effort to be connected to the community and has hosted some special guests in the quieter morning hours. “We have invited several orphanages to bring their kids over to play a game on several occasions and we all had a wonderful time,” El Sawy said.
Bounce! Bowling and More is working hard to create a fun, safe and clean environment. A nice touch is the antiseptic spray that is used on the shoes just before they are handed over to you. Every Thursday is Moonlight Night where the normal lights are turned off and black light highlights the colourful pinks and purples of Bounce! Strike That Score is a challenge that is issued to bowlers at the beginning of their game. A white board hanging over the lane states a score and if the customer manages to better it their names will go up and they win a free game.