Australia’s NTS 21 squad approach to the 2022 IBF U21 World Championships continues, with training camps recently held in Queensland and Victoria giving head coach Geoff Bowness a great opportunity to get an overview of the athletes’ conditions after a long spell of COVID-19 restrictions.
“We had a number of testing points throughout the weekends and, importantly, it gave us a snapshot of the athletes under pressure. I was very happy with what I saw,” Bowness commented.
The training sessions were organised in two different locations at Caboolture, Queensland and Chirnside Park, Victoria in order to give NTS 21 athletes an option to choose the most convenient venue.
Each training weekend consisted of two 3-hour days on the lanes with two World Patterns laid. A specific program designed by coach Bowness tested and challenged the abilities of all athletes, as well as educating them on crucial aspects to succeed at international level.
“The sessions were a huge hit. Outstanding. They were world-class,” said Tenpin Bowling Australia National Education and High-Performance Manager Mike Griffith.
“I commend Geoff on planning and delivering a training program that was certainly world standard. Our athletes were engrossed and fully committed the whole time.
“I would also like to thank Caboolture Bowl and Oz Tenpin Chirnside Park for their hospitality in hosting us and allowing the best youth bowlers in the country to learn and shine at their venues. It is support like this that will enable development, resulting in success overseas for Australia,” he said.
Bowness added that bringing elite athletes into this kind of training environment also gives them an opportunity for self-reflection, taking stock of their current abilities and giving them focus on future work.
“This is a great process because it offers each athlete that moment in time to think about improvements that can be done later. Just as important, it shows all the benchmark skill sets that they have and do well, not to mention new skill sets introduced over the weekend from a World game perspective,” he said.
With two important events coming up mid-year in the U21 World Championships in Sweden and the Walter Rachuig Trophy Competition in Hobart, the targeted training sessions were also useful to finalise the team selection process, with a team announcement expected in the next few weeks.
“We are in the final stages of selecting the four boys and four girls that will represent Team Australia,” Griffith confirmed. “Athletes have been working through a number of projects through the last 12 months and, once selected, the planned preparation will continue peaking until the event. Geoff will continue to challenge our athletes to improve, ensuring they are ready when the time comes.”
Bowness added that more training camps will follow after the official team selection, with the formula across two locations proving successful and providing opportunities that will benefit the team.
“It is good to be back,” Griffith added. “You could see the enjoyment in their faces. After such a long time restricted by COVID-19, athletes are longing for a chance to shine.”
As the excitement for international competition mounts, TBA officials will keep a careful eye on developments overseas.
Safety of all involved will be paramount once again with world events such as the war in Ukraine and lingering COVID-19 disruptions still a threat to the NTS 21 journey to Sweden.
“Excited we are,” said coach Bowness. “But now the world must play its part for a safe journey.”