Illawarra's Rookie Singles and Rookie Pairs champions will be chasing a state title with the finals this weekend at Raymond Terrace Bowling Club.
The annual tournament was open to registered bowlers with less than 30 months experience with the 16 zone winners chasing a state trophy.
The Illawarra is represented by Dapto's John Bonham in the Rookie Singles and Thirroul's Brooke Foster and Ron Steele in the Rookie Pairs.
Bonham won seven matches in two days at Bellambi Bowling Club last August to claim the Illawarra Zone 16 Rookie Singles crown.
Bonham took up bowls at Dapto Bowling Club a year ago after his daughter did the same for school sport.
"I'd be picking up my daughter Jessie on a Tuesday and got to see how much she enjoyed it ... and that's how it all started," Bonham said.
He is considering playing pennants for Dapto's next season but the focus at this stage is "just having fun".
The format for the state rookie singles and pairs is two sectional matches, followed by a semi-final and final.
Bonham takes on John Roberts (Zone 10, Gladesville) in his opening match, followed by Clovelly's Edward Ellis, representing Zone 11.
With the state champion having to win four matches in one day the finals could be a test of fitness and endurance, as well as skill.
Meanwhile, the Thirroul champions meet the Zone 3 champs from South Tamworth in round one and Zone 5 champions from Austral in round 2.
Steele and Foster beat Warilla's Glen Ryan and Paul Johnson to clinch the Illawarra title last August.
Steele is into his third year of bowls and has overcome many injuries before finding bowls to be a great sport for him.
Foster has battled a bad back and, like his partner, wished he had taken up bowls years earlier.