During her 15-year career, Singapore’s bowling queen Grace Young has achieved numerous awards due to her determined and committed approach to the game. Grace has earned three Sportswomen of the Year Awards and a place in Singapore’s 50 Greatest Athletes list. She is a well-known face on TV, reading sports news and hosting her own leisure entertainment programme, as well as reporting on the Olympic Games in Atlanta. She has also given her name and time to working with organisations such as the National Council of Social Services, the Singapore Red Cross Society and the Sports Advisory Sub-Committee of the Singapore Broadcasting Authority
It was in 1984 that a chance visit to a bowling alley brought her into contact with National Coach, Victor Tham. Victor invited Grace to join the national team’s training sessions after watching her put into practice the bowling tips he gave her. Six months later she became a Graded Champion in the Singapore Nationals.
Over the next few years, Grace struggled to compete with the more experienced players, but her hard work began to pay off. Her winning streak started at the SEA Games in 1987 when she took gold medal in the Five Ladies Team event and bronze in the Trios. Between 1987 and 1995, Grace won a total of 7 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze medals in the SEA Games.
In 1990 Grace took 2nd place in the Malaysian All Star Championships and went on to achieve 3rd place in 1993 and 1994, 5th place in 1995 and eventually ended up with a championship win in 1996. In 1989, Grace scored a ‘hat-trick’ at the Singapore Open with first place wins in the Singles, All-Events and Grand Masters, followed by first place in 1992 and two firsts and a third place in 1993. Her achievements in the Asian FIQ were again impressive, clinching gold in 1990, 2 bronze in 1992 and a silver and bronze in 1994. In 1991 in the World FIQ, Grace was again champion.
As well as her many victories above, Grace also achieved major success in the Taiwan Open Championship where she took 1st place and the Johore Open Championship which gave her another hat trick, in 1991. She was champion at the Singapore Nationals and obtained 5th place in the World Cup, in 1992. In 1994, improving on her 1992 performance, she took 3rd place in the World Cup. Last but not least, Grace won a bronze medal in the Asian Games in 1994 and 1998.
During the 1996 Singapore National Open, Grace struggled with injury and although triumphant, she took a year off, returning to bronze medal victory in the 1998 Asian Games. This was the last time Grace competed. Only the possibility of bowling becoming an Olympic sport would tempt her out of ‘retirement’.