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Bowls In Focus : January 2011
Bowls In Focus 15 Anne & Greg Sherman 12 Nolan Street Bendigo, Vic. 3550 Phone: 03 5442 2199 Fax: 03 5441 6619 www.bendigobowlsshop.com.au WE SELL ALL MAJOR BRANDS ONLINE NOW! Save time and Money Now in the comfort of your own home, Bendigo Jack High Bowls Shop invites you to browse through the extensive range of bowls, lawn bowling equipment and apparel Order Online Country VICTORIA’S largest range of bowls clothing, accessories, new & second hand bowls. Victorian bowls unearthed its newest rising star last month at the North Launceston Bowls Club when our junior girls reclaimed the Bev Shannahan Shield from their Tasmanian counterpar ts. Prime movers in the campaign were the triples and pairs combinations, who completed their six rubbers undefeated while amassing a total of 171 shots to their opposition’s sixty-six along the way. Pivotal to success in any rinks combination is the performance of its lead and this is where talented Wodonga teenager Kylie Whitehead shone out. The 16-year-old Wodonga Senior Secondary College student, who lives at Chiltern, and was ‘discovered’ by State Under-18 Development chair Jackie McLaren at a junior try-out day, gave a near- flawless display of the lead position with outstand- ing control of line and weight. What made Kylie’s performance even more remarkable is that she has been bowling for just twelve months, yet played with the aplomb of a seasoned veteran. However, locals in the border region are not surprised at Kylie’s rapid rise in the sport. She is a champion swimmer at the Wodonga Swimming Club having competed successfully at state level in her favoured butterfly discipline, while as a hard- running centre for the Chiltern Swans netball team she won the 2009 best and fairest award. But perhaps the swiftness in which she adapted to bowls comes from her sporting heredity. Her uncle is Gavin Wanganeen, who won the 1993 Brownlow Medal at Essendon before a glorious stint at Adelaide’s Port Power, while Melbourne’s springheeled fan favourite Liam Jurrah is a cousin. Although the first recorded instance of bowls being played by Australian Aboriginals dates back to 1866, when a team of cricketers took on the members at Fitzroy Bowls Club, it is believed that Kylie may well be the first Aboriginal woman to take up the game in Victoria. There are visual similarities between Kylie and a young Cathy Freeman, who is one of her role models, while her early life has already followed several of the paths travelled by another, Evonne Goolagong Cawley. Born at Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, Kylie lives with her grandparents in Chiltern and explains that her grandfather Jim Whitehead ‘talked her into having a go at bowls’ last year. “I am really enjoying it, bowls is a great social spor t where you can meet new people all the time,” she said. “The skill factor is something that really appealed to me while not having to get up early in the morn- ing for training like in swimming is another definite plus.” A fine student who enters Year 11 next month fol- lowing a year of straight A’s in 2010, Kylie intends to undertake a career in sports physiotherapy. “But at some stage in the future I would like to work among my people. I’ve been really lucky in my life and will no doubt give something back,” she adds. “And I’m keen to learn as much as I can about my heritage and the origins of the Warlpiri people who are my ancestors.” However, she baulks at the term ‘indigenous’, saying: “It’s a generic term relating to a region or country. Eskimos are indigenous people as are Maoris. I’m an Australian Aboriginal and very proud of it.” So what of the future for this intelligent and gifted young Aussie? “Well, I’m a person who strives to be the best I can at anything I set my mind to, so I’ll be trying to improve my bowls and get as far as I can with it. “However, I’m very aware of the opportunities I’ve been given and have set my goals on achieving at school, then hopefully university and a profes- sional career. “But until then, I’ll be trying to get my bowls closer to the jack than my opponents and we’ll see where that takes me.” - David Allen Wickers Crowned State Champions Kylie’s Taking The Lead • Above: Wodonga junior Kylie Whitehead made her state debut last month. • Right: Here’s Kylie in action during the test series at North Launceston.