News Single

Australian Team Ready For Inaugural World Junior Championships In France

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Bowling fans in France will get to witness top-level competition when the inaugural World Bowling Junior Championships begins on March 17th, with Australia sending four athletes to the event.

The seven day tournament will take place at the 28-lane Plaza Bowling Saint Maximin in Saint-Maximin outside of Paris, with more than 110 of the world's best young bowlers, aged 18 and under representing over thirty-five federations.  

Among them will be the Australian team members of Amy Shoesmith (ACT), Sophie Martin (VIC), Nixon Chan (NSW) and Cameron Stein (QLD) who will depart for the Worlds on Thursday.

At the Championships, each country will compete across five disciplines - singles, doubles, mixed teams, all-events and Masters.  With the first three events each featuring six games, the top four in each division advance to their respective semi-finals.  Gold, silver and bronze all-events medals will be awarded in each division based on 18-game pinfall totals, and the top 24 girls and top 24 boys will advance to the Masters portion of the event.

The semi-finals will be incorporated into competition at Plaza St. Maximin, with the addition of the singles finals. All other finals will be conducted on March 23rd on special lanes that will be installed into the Judo Hall in Paris, with a crowd expected.

The Australian team members will also be joined by head coach Shane Bernhardt and team manager Gayle Shoesmith, and plans are in place to assist the athletes to recover from the 22 hour flight to Paris before unofficial practice gets underway on Saturday.

“The 15 hour long haul between Australia and Abu Dhabi is mostly overnight (Australia time), so we are hopeful that the athletes will get some sleep.  Gayle and I will make sure that the athletes stay hydrated on the flight and move around as much as they need.  Our stopover in Abu Dhabi is only a couple of hours before our 7 hour flight to Paris, where we arrive on Friday morning (Paris time),” Bernhardt said.

“Friday is a rest/recovery day, followed by unofficial practice on Saturday and Sunday, and official practice on Monday.  I think that we have planned enough time for the athletes to become acclimatised to both a very different time zone and much cooler temperatures.”

In a change for the world governing body, the event marks the first World Championship that will utilise the new current frame scoring system and the organisation is also set to announce the official oiling pattern for the event at the managers meeting on Saturday afternoon.

For Bernhardt, who is also the junior National Training Squad coach, the announcement of the oil pattern two days prior to official competition beginning will prove challenging, but the South Australian knows that the group has had the opportunity to see how they play.

“World bowling provided information in relation to the bank of patterns from which the world’s pattern will be chosen and these have been provided to the athletes to practice on.  Two of these patterns were used at the National Youth Cup and National Youth Teams Challenge in January, so we are hopeful that the pattern chosen is one that we have bowled on previously.  That said, the athletes are well prepared and I am not concerned over which pattern we get,” Bernhardt added.

When the boy’s singles qualifying kicks off competition the Australian team will boast international experience with Amy Shoesmith, Sophie Martin and Nixon Chan having all represented Australia at the 2018 Asian Schools Championships in Chinese Taipei.  This highly regarded tournament saw the team win two silver medals alongside two bronze with Shoesmith qualifying for the Masters.

Having coached the Asian Schools team in Chinese Taipei, Bernhardt is excited to be a part of the tournament and said the team needs to enjoy the experience but focus on the processes.

“I am personally expecting the event to be something very special...Being involved in the first ever World Junior Championships is a bowling and life experience that can never be repeated.  Whilst we will be aiming to do well, we cannot control outcomes, so therefore our focus will be entirely around the processes.”  

“All four athletes are very good bowlers, exceptional young people and will be great ambassadors for TBA.  I know that each of the athletes has done everything possible to prepare themselves for this event, and knowing each individual, I am fully expecting that they will give 100% on the lanes – to me this will always be my measure of success,” Bernhardt said.

The championship will be livestreamed here and for further information and results, visit the official 2019 World Junior Championships website here.