National Training Squad revamp looks to inclusivity

By Tenpin Bowling Australia
December 1, 2021

Tenpin Bowling Australia (TBA) is pleased to announce that its National Training Squad (NTS) program will include a new Inclusion Squad from 2022 ahead of International Day of People with a Disability as it aims to revamp its High-Performance program.

A key pillar of the TBA Strategic Plan is “A Striking Force”, which aims to provide opportunities for elite bowlers to excel and develop their talent.

The NTS program intends to facilitate this vision by introducing the NTS Evolution.

The initiative will be part of a raft of changes to the TBA High Performance and NTS programs.

“Aligned with the strategic vision and to improve our future capabilities, the TBA team have reviewed our NTS Program in 2021 for areas of improvement and introduced the NTS Evolution concept gradually throughout the year,” TBA High-Performance Manager Mike Griffith explained.

“We have recently updated our policies and procedures associated with high performance to reflect this evolution.

“We are investing in a high-performance pathway that provides support, direction and the best opportunities available to develop to a world standard,” added Griffith.

In announcing the new NTS Evolution, Griffith is also excited to reveal a new squad within the NTS Program – NTS Inclusion.

“I am thrilled to announce the introduction of NTS Inclusion, a new training squad to be introduced nationally from next year,” said Griffith.

“TBA is increasing its involvement and responsibility for our top athletes with a disability by providing them development opportunities and pathways to reach the pinnacle of the sport.”

The announcement comes ahead of International Day of People with a Disability (IDPWD) on Friday 3 December, which aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with a disability.

Commencing in 2022, NTS Inclusion will cover four classifications for males and females:

  1. Blind or Vision Impaired athletes: Classification required
  2. Deaf or Hearing-Impaired athletes: Classification required
  3. Paralympic of Wheelchair: (W1) Para/Amputee, (W2) Quad Classification
  4. Intellectual Impairment: Intellectual disability and Autism

Initially, the NTS Inclusion will involve the top four male and female athletes identified then selected for each classification with the opportunity for additional athletes and classifications if TBA requires.

The newly created squad will involve 32 elite inclusion athletes.

“It’s great that we can now offer opportunities and pathways for all elite athletes in our sport to be identified, supported and provided opportunities to represent our country officially in a National Squad and team duties,” Griffith said.

“We are looking for the best, so athletes identified will come from their performances and results in recognised national events across the country.

“There is no application process at this stage. However, we are identifying appropriate contacts within the disability sector of the sport to help form an NTS Inclusion Advisory Panel to assist in putting this project together,” added Griffith.

The formation of the NTS Inclusion squad will align with the new International Bowling Federation (IBF) World Championship events, allowing Australia to be represented on the world stage with travelling teams at this or other international events.

Tenpin Bowling Australia looks forward to announcing these squads in 2022.

Credit to the International Bowling Federation for photos captured from the recent 2021 IBF Para World Championships in Dubai