In its 34th annual edition, the National Disability Championship took centre stage, bringing together a remarkable gathering of talented bowlers with disabilities from all corners of the country.
From the 7-17th of June 2023, the action unfolded at Zone Bowling Noarlunga in South Australia where 369 exceptional bowlers stepped up to the lanes, generating a staggering 1,793 entries and an astonishing 7,491 games bowled.
But it wasn’t just about the numbers; it was the spirit of camaraderie, competition, and pure fun that enveloped the championship. The atmosphere was alive with cheers, laughter, and the shared joy of pursuing a passion for bowling. The National Disability Championship proved to be a melting pot of friendship, forging new connections, and celebrating the love for the game.
“It really is just a fantastic event on the calendar for Tenpin Bowlers with a disability and the incredible numbers provide incredible outcomes for so many during the ten days,” said Tenpin Bowling Australia CEO Rohan O’Neill.
“It was superb to witness the passion, camaraderie and competition unfold between so many bowlers from different backgrounds from across the country.
“We thank the Australian Disabilities Tenpin Incorporated (ADTi) for once again partnering with us to deliver this event. They do a marvellous job of putting everything together and ensuring bowlers, carers, parents, and supporters all enjoy the event” added O’Neill.
The 34th Annual Championships kicked off with a bang with the opening ceremony on the first Saturday of the Championship. We thank the Honourable Nat Cook MP who was in attendance and even tried her hand at chucking a few down the lane.
“So much talent on display….. not from me 😂” posted Nat Cook on Facebook following the event.
This year’s championship also introduced some exciting additions to the mix.
Alongside the main championship events, participants engaged in showcase events such as the highly anticipated State Team Challenge Day and the gripping Restricted, Classic and Open Master’s competitions. For the first time, certain events were ranked, adding an extra layer of intensity and competitiveness to the already exhilarating atmosphere.
The State Team Challenge Day saw the running of two highlight events – the Cole Cup Challenge and the Michael Cooke Memorial Shield. Tenpin Bowling Australia CEO Rohan O’Neill was on hand to welcome bowlers and get things underway on the day.
“It was a privilege to attend the State Team Challenge Day” explained O’Neill. “When you see the amount of people all lining up on the approaches in their uniforms and how proud they are to be there representing their State or Territory, it is a true testament to how inclusive this great sport is”.
With record-breaking entry numbers, the championship was a testament to the dedication and passion of the bowlers who poured their hearts into the game they love. It was a true celebration of inclusivity, unity, and the unyielding spirit that drives these remarkable athletes to defy expectations and shatter barriers.
We are so proud to once again deliver the National Championship, providing the platform for bowlers of all abilities to come together and enjoy the sport they love” said Tournament Director Louise Cook following the championships.
“A safe, inclusive and accessible environment, with bowlers from every corner of Australia, from 13 year olds to 80 years, with our elite Australian representatives and those competing in their first national event – tenpin really is a sport for all. The bowlers continue to inspire and showcase true sportsmanship.
“We thank Tenpin SA and Zone Bowling for hosting us at Noarlunga and SA’s Lyn Alexander for her invaluable support during this 10-day event” added Cooke.
Following the ever-popular carers challenge on the last day, presentations for all the awards were given out. In addition, a special presentation was made to the Australian Team members of the 2022 IBF Para Bowling World Cup. We thank the Honourable Katrine Hildyard MP who was in attendance and had some lovely words to share on her Facebook account following the presentation.
“Loved spending time with you all and hearing about your outstanding achievements – and meeting the Australian Team. Well done to you all and an enormous thank you to committee members and other generous volunteers, coaches, officials, managers, parents, supporters – what you help to create is really special. Thank you so much for having me. I had a ball and just loved seeing how sport brought all of you together” said Hildyard.
We also thank Federal Minister Amanda Rishworth who couldn’t attend but sent her acknowledgement and best wishes to participants.
An always popular question at the conclusion of the championship is ‘Where will next year’s event be held’?
At the celebration dinner, the question was answered by revealing that the 35th National Disability Championships would be held in Canberra in 2024. Keep an eye out later in the year for entry information to be released.
Also at this year’s championships, the Australian Disabilities Tenpin Roll of Honour was launched. The Roll of Honour has been formed to recognise players, coaches, administrators and carers for their contribution to the championships.
During the opening ceremony, two administrators were acknowledged with Calvin Jenkins (Tas) and Beth Boyd (Qld) receiving Volunteer Recognition Awards. At the dinner, a bowler who also is an administrator and a carer was recognised with the Australian Capital Territory’s Franke Cooke inducted. We will shine a light on these award winners in the coming weeks.
The National Disability Championship was a true celebration of the love for bowling, where participants of all abilities came together to showcase their talent and passion. It served as a reminder that the power of sports goes beyond physical abilities, uniting people and inspiring them to overcome obstacles.
Tenpin Bowling Australia and the Australian Disabilities Tenpin Association would like to thank all participants who competed in this year’s championship. We also thank all the wonderful carers and parents that helped support the athletes and all the incredible volunteers that put up their hands to help. These events don’t run without you and we thank you for your involvement.
Now, let’s delve into the results and unforgettable moments of the 34th National Disability Championship to acknowledge the triumphs and achievements of the remarkable bowlers who graced the lanes during the unforgettable championship.
2023 National Disability Championship Results
Boasting seven Grades to suit all skills and abilities, entrants in each grade for Singles, Doubles and Teams would bowl a three-game series for their championship entry. The highest series in each grade would be crowned the winner. If a bowler held more than one place in a Grade, they would only receive a medal for the highest placed series.
We congratulate all winners of each division and all bowlers who participated in this year’s championship.
For all results from every participant during the championship, please click here
Click the drop-down menus below to find all podium winners from each grade and event.
State Team Challenge Day
Always a highlight during the championships is State Team Challenge Day. This is where the best teams from each state and territory battle it out on the lanes in two separate events for different skill levels.
Cole Cup Challenge
Congratulations to Western Australia who are the 2023 Cole Cup Challenge Champions.
Western Australia collected a total of 38 points through the seven rounds on their way to victory. Six points behind was the team from Victoria and on 26.5 points was Queensland who claimed the bronze medal. Congratulations to Geoff Holloway from South Australia who was presented with the Sportsperson Award for the Cole Cup Challenge by SA Disability representatives Mr Alan and Mrs Carol Hatton.
- 🥇 Western Australia – Daniel Freeman, Geoff Holloway, Graham McGee, Joshua Bailey, Max Holden, Tim Watts, Team Coach- Dianne Milton, Team Manager – Sharon McKellar
- 🥈 Victoria – Kelly Preer, Simone Brady, Shanan Arblaster, James Maloney, Jess Livingston, Beau Gruen, Caitlin Smith, Lisa McLeish, Team Coach – Kylie McLeish, Team Manager – Ross Smith, Assistant – Jenny Negrin, Coordinator – Cheryl Zammit
- 🥉 Queensland – Jason Dixon, Michael Boyd, Hayden Black, Russel Whit, Steve Anderson, Robert Clark, Ronan Oxley, Team Coach – Beth Boyd, Team Manager – Christine Challinor, Assistant – Ben Madden
Michael Cooke Memorial Shield
Congratulations to New South Wales who are the 2023 Michael Cooke Memorial Shield.
New South Wales has now won the last four open division state team challenge events. In 2023, NSW finished on 40.5 points from the seven rounds to be crowned champions. In second place on 37 points was Victoria and claiming the bronze medal again was Queensland on 33 points.
Congratulations to David Hall from South Australia who was presented with the Sportsperson Award for the Michael Cooke Memorial Shield by SA Disability representatives Mr Alan and Mrs Carol Hatton.
- 🥇 New South Wales – Kallan Strong, Mitchell Meares, Danny Sogal, Bradley Arana, Dianne Demello, Team Coach – Cameron Phillips, Team Manager – Annette St Clair, Assistant Manager – Lee Strong
- 🥈 Victoria – Thomas Carroll, Amanda Threlfall, Jason Threlfall, Chase Jenkins, Arylyn Payne-Charleston, Chris Beasley, Pino Mascetti, Kaeden Negrin, Team Coach – Kylie McLeish, Team Manager – Lyn Beebe, Assistant – Sue Tomlinson, Coordinator – Cheryl Zammit
- 🥉 Queensland – Karnie Taylor, David Riddle, Nicholas Jefferson, Will Mison, Ashley Poelstra, Tyler Allen, Matt Hurst – Team Coach – Kim Mogg, Team Manager – Bernie Madden, Assistant – Ben Madden
There are three Master’s events during the championship for the various skilled bowlers in attendance. The Restricted Masters, the Classic Masters and Open Masters.
Qualifying involves the highest 3-game series in either a singles or doubles entry bowled during the championship. The top 16 qualifiers would then compete in the final. State and Territory Master’s have automatic entry and the vacancies are filled by qualifiers.
The finals would be 8 games with the top 3 then advancing to bowl in a one-game step ladder final. In the Grand Final, the top-ranked bowler is allowed a rematch if defeated for the first time in game one.
The Restricted Master’s is a handicap event based on 100% of 200. It is open to all male and female bowlers whose average is 119 or below.
Congratulations to Levi Clarke from Mt Warren Lanes in Queensland who is the 2023 Restricted Master’s Champion. Levi defeated Tim Watts in the grand final 277-239
- 🥇 Levi Clarke
- 🥈Tim Watts
- 🥉 Hayden Black
The Classic Master’s is a handicapped event based on 100% of 200 and is open to all male and female bowlers whose entering averages of the championships is between 120 and 159.
Congratulations to Ronan Oxley from Queensland who is the 2023 Classic Master’s champion.
- 🥇 Ronan Oxley
- 🥈 Malakai Sammut
- 🥉 Anthony Ceccone
Bowlers who competed in the Classic and Open Master’s will have their scores automatically processed for ranking points for the Inclusion Rankings program.
The Open Master’s is a scratch event open to male and female bowlers whose entering average for the championships is 160 or above.
Congratulations to Kallan Strong from New South Wales who is the 2023 Open Master’s Champion!
Victorian Pino Mascetti would lead the field following the first eight games averaging an incredible 222. Not far behind by 58 pins was the reigning World Cup champion Kallan Strong who finished on 1,718 and Ashley Poelstra (1,692) was the other bowler to enter the stepladder final.
Kallan Strong would defeat Ashley Poelstra 216-178 in the semi-final to book the grand final ticket against Pino Mascetti. In a heartstopper, Kallan would prevail to win his second consecutive Open Master’s title defeating Pino Mascetti 211-192 and 223-217.
- 🥇 Kallan Strong
- 🥈 Pino Mascetti
- 🥉 Ashley Poelstra