The Bundaberg Region will become a premier destination for lawn bowls competitors when the 2023 Queensland Junior State Championships takes to the greens.
The annual event draws in young bowlers from all corners of the state to compete in singles, pairs, triples and fours categories, showcasing their talent and skills as they vie for the top trophy.
In last month's Ordinary Meeting Bundaberg Regional Council entered into a sponsorship agreement with Bowls Queensland to help fund the 2023 Junior State Championships, with $5000 allocated to the event.
To be held over six consecutive days, the tournament is expected to generate plenty of interest from players, visitors and online.
Council's Sport and Recreation portfolio spokesperson Vince Habermann said while spectators could attend the event, interested parties would also have the opportunity to view the games via livestream.
“The live streaming broadcast is available on the Bowls Queensland Facebook page and website and has, in the past, generated more than 140,000 views across the six days, which means great exposure of our region,” he said.
“The event will also draw in visitors to Bundaberg.”
This year, the championships were held in Toowoomba and received 82 entries, with two people attending per entry.
“It equated to a direct spend of $298,000 into the community, which is a fantastic result,” Cr Habermann said.
“With lawn bowls being such a popular sport in our region, I am confident that this event will generate plenty of interest from locals as well as visitors.”
CEO of Bowls Queensland Brett Wilkie said the organisation had considered Bundaberg as its 2023 championship destination after receiving an expression of interest from the Burnett Bowls Club and The Waves Bowls Club.
“The event has been held in Bundaberg in recent years including in 2019, 2018 and 2015,” he said.
“Bundaberg has always been a great breeding ground for junior bowlers led by District Junior Coordinator Des Kemp.
“The Burnett and Across the Waves Bowls Clubs have done a great job in hosting this event in the past and we look forward to another great event in the Bundaberg Region.”
Brett said the event would offer up many benefits to both the region and players involved.
“The benefits of hosting an event like this is that it brings a lot of people to Bundaberg, which brings money into the town and to the clubs hosting,” he said.
“It showcases the finest juniors in the state, gives locals the opportunity to watch the action live, encourages local junior bowlers to enter and also promotes the game in the region.
“State selectors will be in attendance to select a new Qld Junior Squad following the event and selected juniors may then go on to represent Qld versus NSW and in the Australian Junior Championships later in the year.”
Local District Junior Coordinator Des Kemp said he was thrilled the competition would be held in the Bundaberg Region next year and said it would be a great opportunity for local bowlers.
“We have about 20 junior bowlers in the Bundaberg Region and this will give our young bowlers the chance to compete on their home turf,” he said.
“Our young players are vital to the longevity of the sport and promoting lawn bowls as a game for all ages.
“The younger ones, they have a lot better hand-eye coordination that puts us old blokes to shame!”
The 2023 Queensland Junior State Championship will be held from Sunday 15 January 2023 to Friday 20 January 2023.