Australia’s Young Bowlers Ready for Global Stage in Korea

By Matt Stevens
July 9, 2024

Get ready for an exciting showdown as Team Australia heads to South Korea for the prestigious IBF World Youth Bowling Championships! With a rich history of stellar performances, Australia’s top young tenpin bowlers are poised to make a mark on the global stage.

The 17th edition of the championships will be held at the Fiesta Bowling Centre in Incheon, Korea, from 7-18 July 2024. This biennial tournament will feature events in singles, doubles, team, and mixed team bowling disciplines, presented in an exciting and modern format. Over 230 of the best young bowlers under the age of 21, from 38 countries around the world, are registered to compete for top honours in these events. A total of 142 boys, 91 girls, and 67 team officials from 38 countries will participate, marking the first time the championships are held in Korea in 26 years.

Australia boasts a talented and revitalised roster of rising stars, many set to don the green and gold on the global stage for the first time.

With the rest aged out due to age eligibility, Queensland’s Hannah Clark is the only returning member of Australia’s previous World Youth team who travelled to Helsingborg, Sweden in 2022. A breakout year in 2023 saw Hannah capture her first medal at an international event, winning the bronze medal in the girls’ singles event at the Asian Youth Championships in Thailand.

The four-person female squad also includes Samantha Clifton who performed strongly in the Asian Youth event last year, and talented junior bowlers Shanae Key and Emily Hart, who are backing up after their Asian Junior Championship campaign in Malaysia where Hart nabbed two bronze medals in the girls’ doubles and master’s events.

L-R: Shanae Key, Samantha Clifton, Emily Hart, and Hannah Clark

The boy from Ballina, Blake Walsh headlines a talented quartet of boys for Australia. He won a silver medal at last year’s Asian Youth Championship, followed by a bronze medal in the boys’ doubles event at the Asian Junior Championship. His fellow bronze medallist in the boys’ doubles event, Victorian Seth Gray, joins forces with Blake again after an incredible debut for Australia in Singapore, also winning a bronze medal in the boys’ master’s event. Justin Dinham is one of three junior-aged bowlers selected for the campaign and is full of confidence after winning a gold medal in the boys’ team event and qualifying for the boy’s master’s event at the recent Asian Junior Championship in Malaysia. Rounding out the group is the talented Jackson Buckingham from Queensland, who will look to match his best mate Blake on their second international campaign together.

L-R: Seth Gray, Justin Dinham, Jackson Buckingham, and Blake Walsh

Steering the squad will be head coach Robert Alexander, with assistant coach Cameron Walsh, father of Blake. Team managers Lyn Alexander and Morgan James complete the support team for the trip.

“I am very excited to be attending another World Youth Championship” explained Head Coach Robert Alexander.

“I have learned from previous experiences not to get caught up in all the hype and concentrate on what we must do.

“The biggest challenge for the team is that we don’t have a lot of Baker experience, but we wouldn’t be alone in that challenge” added Robert.

Team Australia is regarded as one of the top-performing countries in the history of World Youth Championship bowling. Sitting in 6th place on the all-time medal tally with 27 total medals from the 16-year history of the event, they have 8 gold, 10 silver, and 9 bronze in the trophy cabinet.

After walking away with a bronze medal in the boys’ team event at the previous World Youth Championships, Team Australia is eager to test their skills against the best on the planet once again.  

“We have been practicing hard and I feel that we will hold our own in the event” said Coach Alexander. “It’s a World Championship, so all countries should never be written off but the obvious ones to look out for are Team USA, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore”.

The Championships will showcase the four events in a unique format, with the doubles, team, and mixed team events adopting the Baker format, ensuring every member contributes to the eventual team result.

With a fresh new roster in the green and gold colours, the selected members are excited to remind the world of the talent Australia possesses in the sport. Let’s rally behind Team Australia as they embark on this thrilling journey!

Tenpin Bowling Australia wishes the team and support staff the very best of luck and high scoring on their journey to Korea. Follow their progress on our Team Australia Event Hub here and cheer them on through live streams and social media updates. Let’s go Team Australia!

The following federations have confirmed their attendance.