Pocket Preview: 2024 Sydney Bowlfest

By Matt Stevens
May 17, 2024

The Sydney Bowlfest features two nationally ranked tournaments: the Junior Sydney Cup for juniors and the Sydney Youth Cup for the youth division. Both cups are critical fixtures on the 2024 bowling tournament calendar, attracting competitors to vie for national rankings.

Additionally, the festival will include competitions for under-13 and under-15 bowlers, though these events are not nationally ranked.

The Junior Sydney Cup, now in its 46th iteration, will see participants battle through three qualifying rounds to secure a spot in the top 8 for males and females. Those who qualify will progress to a matchplay stage, where performances can earn bonus pins. After seven games, the top three will compete in a stepladder final to crown the champion.

Celebrating its 17th year, the Sydney Youth Cup follows a similar format, with bowlers striving to be among the top 8 in total pinfall across both gender divisions after three qualifying squads. The finals will commence with these bowlers playing an additional six games, leading up to a stepladder final for the top six.

L-R: Tamika Pettigrew and Blake Walsh

Returning champions include New Zealand’s Natasha Goggin, who is back to defend her Junior Sydney Cup title. Meanwhile, last year’s male junior champion, Blake Walsh, has transitioned to the youth division. Tamika Pettigrew also returns, hoping to repeat her 2023 victory in the Youth Cup. However, Ben Pettit will not be present to defend his title.

Local bowlers at events always attract attention, and this year’s lineup is no exception. Among the strong contenders for the crown are the Dinham brothers—Justin and Julian—and Sean Lam. All three, who train at iPlay Tenpin City, are members of the Junior National Training Squad. Justin Dinham has had a particularly impressive year, currently leading the Open Division rankings after victories at the Kegel QLD Open and a sixth-place finish at the Australian Open. Not to be outdone, his younger brother Julian clinched the runner-up position at the Australian Open at just 15 years old!

Natasha Goggin & Justin Dinham

This event promises a thrilling weekend of competition, showcasing some of the rising stars in bowling. We wish all bowlers the best of luck and high scoring!