Eight young bowlers from the Bundaberg Region will go head-to-head with the state’s best when they head to the 2020 Junior State Championships in Toowoomba on Sunday.
Described as the toughest junior bowls competition of the year, the six-day event will showcase promising young talent from across the state in singles, pairs, triples and fours in the under-18 category, along with boys’ and girls’ singles and combined pairs for under 15s.
Junior development officer for Burnett Bowls Club and Bundaberg District, Des Kemp, said bowlers as young as nine from clubs in the Bundaberg Region will take part.
“We have eight juniors going to Toowoomba from Bargara, Gin Gin and Burnett bowls clubs,” he said.
“Some of the kids are new to junior state bowling and it’s very exciting, especially for them.
“It’s great to see the them in action, because you can train them as much as you like, but when you put them into a game situation it’s all different and they have to keep their nerves under control, especially the younger ones.”
Des has 20 years bowling experience and much of that has been spent mentoring and helping juniors in the Bundaberg Region.
He said the Junior State Championship would see some of Queensland’s most gifted talent engage in fierce competition, but only one thing mattered to him when it came to results.
“It will be tough as there are some very talented juniors from right throughout Queensland, especially the kids from the Gold Coast as they get to play with all the big gun players down there,” Des said.
“I just want our players to give me 110 per cent and do their best, enjoy the experience, that’s the main thing.
“If they bring home some medals, well that’s a bonus.”
Des said the Junior State Championships had been held in Bundaberg three times before in 2012, 2015 and 2018 and it's always a great event to help the young bowlers learn on the green.
Girls support each other at Junior State Championships
It’s the fourth time Breeanna Pegg, 16, and Hannah Ogden, 15, have competed in the Junior State Championships and they are excited to be participating together again.
“It’s going to be pretty good, very exciting,” Hannah said.
“I think it’s a great experience for people who bowl and especially for beginners.
“It’s a great way to meet new people and overall a good event to play against new people and experience different sides of bowling.”
Breeanna said she was looking forward to the competitive side of bowling and the Junior State Championships gave her opportunities she doesn’t have locally.
“It’s a great opportunity to compete against different people who you normally don’t get the opportunity to,” Breeanna said.
“Here in Bundaberg we don’t get a lot of competition practice, so this is a good way to get that rivalry practice in.
“I do enjoy meeting new people also and making friendships with the people I will play in teams with.
“It’s nice to be going along with Hannah as we played our first competition together four years ago.”
The 2020 Junior State Championships will be held at North Toowoomba Bowls Club and Toowoomba Bowls Club, on Sunday, 19 January to Friday, 24 January.
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