Games support for bowls’ young stars
As the countdown to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow continues, Australia’s elite young brigade of lawn bowlers have received a timely injection of funding support from the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA).
The support under the ACGA’s Junior Commonwealth Games Squad program (AJCGS) means for the first time the prestigious Trans Tasman battle between Australia and New Zealand from March 20-22 in Auckland will feature an Australian junior team of five boys and five girls.
The juniors will accompany the senior and development teams, bringing the total number of participating bowlers travelling across the Tasman to 30.
The recent Australian Open, staged at Darebin International Sports Centre in February, was a landmark event for young bowlers in Australia with the men’s and women’s singles champions aged 21 and 19 respectively. The ACGA and Bowls Australia are working together to further support the development of junior players and their transition into senior ranks.
The Australian Commonwealth Junior Games Squad (AJCGS) program aims to provide juniors identified by their sport as having the potential to represent Australia at future Commonwealth Games and to gain important international competition experience. The ACGA has contributed more than $5m to junior development across program sports since the program began in 1996.
ACGA Chief Executive Perry Crosswhite AM said, “It is vital that Australia’s next group of potential Commonwealth Games athletes coming through the junior ranks get exposure to travelling in a team environment and competing overseas at an early stage in their careers.
“Being able to travel and compete alongside the senior players at this Trans Tasman test will further enhance what these young players will be able to get out of this experience,” said Crosswhite.
The ACGA is also supporting Bowls Australia’s current group of senior players prepare for the next Commonwealth Games in 2014 through its ‘Go Glasgow’ Program.
With Sunday 10 March marking the ‘500 days to go’ milestone until the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Bowls Australia Chief Executive Neil Dalrymple says now is the time to be excited about the next era of bowlers representing Australia.
“We witnessed a record-breaking gold medal haul by our young team at the World Championships in Adelaide last year with five gold medals and our Australian Open singles champions are 21 and 19 years of age.
“It is a very exciting time for bowls in Australia and to be able to send 10 juniors among our group of 30 players to the Trans Tasman, is a great fillip for the development of our squad ahead of Glasgow and the Games after that on the Gold Coast in 2018. We are grateful to the Australian Commonwealth Games Association for their ongoing support of bowls,” Dalrymple said.
The 2013 Trans Tasman will be staged at the Howick Bowling Club in Auckland from March 20-22.
The Australian junior representatives being supported to attend the Trans Tasman test under the AJCGS program are;
Australian Junior Girls Team
Singles Natasha Jones (BRIBIE ISLAND BC, Qld)
Pairs Ellen Ryan (GOULBURN RAILWAY BC, NSW) & Breeanna Dickson (SALISBURY BC, SA)
Triples Samantha Noronha (WARILLA BC, NSW), Natasha Jones (Qld) & Natalie Noronha (WARILLA BC, NSW)
Fours Samantha Noronha (NSW), Ellen Ryan (NSW), Natalie Noronha (NSW), Breeanna Dickson (SA)
Australian Junior Boys Team
Singles Dave Downey (LAKE GRACE BC, WA)
Pairs Billy Johnston (BELROSE BC, NSW) & Bradley Thomas (YASS BC, ACT)
Triples Dylan Skinner (FIGTREE RSL BC, NSW), Michael Sims (TREVALLYN BC, Tas) & Dave Downey (WA)
Fours Dylan Skinner (NSW), Billy Johnston (NSW), Michael Sims (Tas) & Bradley Thomas (ACT)