Thirty-one countries are now participating in the European Men Championships with an aim to inscribe their name among the greats in five different categories of the event - Singles, Doubles, Trios, Teams, and Masters.
Despite the fact that the majority of the countries competing are from Europe (which makes sense given that it is the European Championships), there are nine representatives that came from a land far far away.
The National Team of South Africa traveled nearly nine thousand kilometers to Wittelsheim, France, for the EMC 2023. Garreth Hechter, Alain Regnard, Robby Govender, Sean Van Den Berg, Jivi Sewchuran, and Jimmy Ju, bowlers of the National Team, are pleased to compete in this illustrious championship despite their exhausting journey.
Yet, many bowling spectators still ponder how the National Team of South Africa ended up participating in the European Zone competition.
The European Bowling Federation and the South African Tenpin Bowling Association (TBASA) have a long-standing relationship. TBASA was a member federation of the EBF with the right to compete in EBF events.
Even some European records were made by South Africa's players. In 1993, Malmoe, Sweden, George Jagga, member of South Africa's National Team, scored first perfect game in EMC history.
After the establishment of African Zone Confederation of World Bowling in Cairo, Egypt, in 2018, the National Team of South Africa participated in the Africa Zone Championships.
Yet, in January 2023, TBASA became an Associate Member of the European Bowling Federation again.
South Africa's desire to take part in more challenging competitions served as the driving force behind the choice.
As a rightful member of the EBF, South Africa can participate in European championships and win medals.
However, South Africa cannot qualify for World Championships through the EBF events, meaning they still need to participate in the Africa Zone Championships.