Have you ever been able to watch a youth athlete discover their passion? If you have, you know that it’s one of the most rewarding experiences that exist in this world.

On a Storm Youth Championships (SYC) weekend, we see youth athletes learn to navigate the chaos of travel, trust what they have practiced, discover confidence within themselves, push through doubt and reach new personal milestones. We watch them finish a block of bowling that they’re not happy with and ask for a practice lane at the front desk to keep working on what they struggled with. We watch them celebrate a win with the friends they’ve made along the way. Most of all, we’re lucky to be able to watch them grow into young adults ready to take their next steps in life and cheer them on along the way.

The first SYC took place in 2017 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada. Since that event, we have visited new cities each year, returned to some fan favorite cities, met nearly 4,000 youth athletes and their families, and awarded more than $502,016 in scholarship funds.

In 2022, our SYC schedule expanded to nine events featuring four new host bowling communities. We intentionally take the SYC events to new cities each year in a quest to bring national events closer to home for more families. Three events have been completed and four remain on the schedule.

At each event, the top three bowlers in each gender and age-based division are awarded with bronze, silver and gold medals. In addition to the scholarship funds awarded to participants, at the conclusion of the tournament the overall champions receive a special SYC trophy, medal, and earn a SYC banner that will be hung at each SYC event until they age-out of competition.

In addition, each season includes one “major” event where we award the top two overall youth bowlers in each division with a spot on the Storm SYC All-American Team. In 2022, the Storm All-American Team will be named at the event in Columbus, Ohio. This will also host the return of the popular SYC Super Slam format. This three-day event during the summer when youth athletes are not in school includes an optional baker team event in addition to the singles event on the weekend. This event is sold-out with a waiting list.

Our SYC Team continues to strive to create events that include a welcoming environment where youth bowlers and their families are included in every activity. In addition to the tournament, each event includes optional activities that are available for bowlers who wish to participate in the popular activities

“The SYC was created and continues to be conducted with a pure heart and clear vision that youth are the future of the sport,” Hulsenberg said. “If you have bowled or plan to bowl an SYC, we thank you. We are committed to growing the sport together and continuing to do good along the way.”

Those youth athletes who have earned SYC Titles in 2022 are:

2022 SYC NEVADA:
U12 Girls – Anna Antony
U12 Boys – Do Hoon Kwon
U15 Girls – Gianna Brandolino
U15 Boys – Keegan Alexander
U18 Girls – Morgan Kline
U18 Boys – Mac Kaurin

2022 SYC DELAWARE:
U12 Girls – Anna Antony
U12 Boys – Do Hoon Kwon
U15 Girls – Gianna Brandolino
U15 Boys – Jos Weems
U18 Girls – Jillian Martin
U18 Boys – Brandon Bohn

2022 SYC NORTH CAROLINA

U12 Mixed – Sebastian Vetter
U15 Girls – Gianna Brandolino
U15 Boys – Aidan Furukawa
U18 Girls – Victoria Varano
U18 Boys – Carter Street

2022 SYC IOWA

U12 Girls – Alivia Portillo
U12 Boys – Sebastian Vetter
U15 Girls – Gianna Brandolino
U15 Boys – Landin Jordan
U18 Girls – Brianna Rogers
U18 Boys – Bobby Habetler

 

Champions being crowned is a highlight of each event, but perhaps the biggest champions are the cancer patients that benefit from the money raised by linking the SYC with Ballard vs the Big “C” (BVBC), a non-profit founded by bowling Hall-of-Famers, Del and Carolyn Ballard. Each event supports BVBC in numerous ways. Every entry includes a $10 donation to BVBC. On-site at each SYC, Carolyn and Del Ballard bring silent auction items for the SYC families to bid on.

Since 2017, we have raised $54,580  in entries alone to support continued research in cancer treatment, specifically in head, neck, and throat cancer through the sport of bowling. BVBC also raises money for nutritional supplements and treatments for those going through the cancer journey. With the addition of the silent auction items on site, we have been able to raise $100,000.

The owners of IAM Bowling, Ken and Kathy Keegan provide the apparel for the SYC. IAM Bowling is the official jersey partner and merchandiser of the SYC and creates customized jerseys to help commemorate each of the SYC events. They have also created the Dan Keegan Scholarship for youth athletes to earn scholarships to use towards their education throughout the year.

New to the 2022 SYC Season, PBA Jr. has sponsored the “Never Give Up Scholarship.” At each event in 2022, the bowler in each age division with the highest five game total during the final round of the tournament will receive a $100 SMART Scholarship.

We’re proud to partner with great companies to enhance the SYC experience at events including Storm, IAM Bowling, PBA Junior, RAZE Eyewear, Kegel, Turbo 2-n-1 Grips, 3G Shoes, Quality Respite and Home Care Inc., Ballard’s Bowling Academy and Master Industries. Scores are also uploaded live through the official scoring system of the SYC, BowlMetrix.

For more information on the SYC visit www.stormbowling.com/SYC.