World Bowling have launched their bid to be included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic programme after officially submitting their application to be considered for inclusion as an additional event.
Having been invited to apply by Tokyo 2020, along with 33 others sports, World Bowling have submitted an application which they believe highlights the universality of bowling and have focused particularly on its appeal to Japanese fans.
As part of the application, the National Bowling Federation of Japan and the Japan Bowling Congress collected a list of nearly one million signatures to be submitted with the document to highlight national support for the sports inclusion.
Signatures were collected at bowling centres across the country, with the JBC vowing to continue to display support for the application by accumulating even greater amount of names ahead of the final decision by Tokyo 2020 in September.
“World Bowling is delighted to have the opportunity to apply for the Additional Event Programme for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” said Kevin Dornberger, World Bowling President.
“Bowling is truly a global game and will offer a high level of fan engagement to the event.
“Japan boasts a huge bowling community and we have their support behind us as we enter this pursuit.
“This is bowling’s time.”
World Bowling believe their application displays that bowling’s broad accessibility and high levels of participation, with the sport able to attract people from various backgrounds and a variety of age groups.
The governing body hope should their bid prove successful the Tokyo 2020 Olympics would help to spread the sport into new regions and reach various demographics.
Tokyo 2020's Additional Event Programme Panel will identify one or more events to be proposed to the International Olympic Committee for the Olympic Games in Japan's capital city, with the proposals set to be submitted by September 30.
The final decision, which will take into account factors such as appealing to youth while engaging both Japanese and worldwide audiences, is due to be made in August 2016 at the 129th IOC Session in Rio.
Baseball and softball are considered as one of the favourites to be included at the Games.
May 2015: Application process officially opens for new sports chasing Tokyo 2020 Olympic participation
April 2015: IOC-recognised International Federations urged to apply for Tokyo 2020 inclusion
February 2015: No decision on new sports at Tokyo 2020 to be made until next year
January 2015: Tokyo 2020 establish Programme Panel to consider adding new sports
January 2015: 3x3 basketball optimistic of inclusion at Tokyo 2020