OLIVIA Cartwright has bowled the competition away at the Central Goulburn Murray bowls tournament in Numurkah to become the under 25 women’s champion.
The 13-year-old Kyabram lawn bowler was up against Berrigan’s Rachel Head, however the 11-year age gap didn’t seem to faze Cartwright as she defeated Head 25-20 over 24 ends.
The performance earned her the title of the under 25 women’s champion for the comp – at 13 that’s quite the achievement.
“It felt incredible to win because I’ve put so much effort into practicing,” Cartwright said.
“One side of me was like ‘I’m not going to win because she’s just so much more mature than I am’, but in the end it’s just a game of bowls so you have to step back and remember that.”
Her career began only one year ago, however she’s already making sterling progress which she puts down to her efforts during training.
“There were times when I was nervous and thought I may not be able to do it, but I just thought back to practice and calmed my nerves,” she said.
Her achievement has earned her a place at the state finals in Burwood on February 28, something which she said she is looking forward to.
“It’ll be great to see all the next level bowlers. I’m hoping I can learn from them and progress my skills,” she said.
“My goal is just to have a shot at it and show them what I’ve got. If I lose a shot then so be it, it’s about taking things one step at a time.”
Cartwright managed to keep her cool despite rising temperatures and there didn’t seem to be any pressure that she couldn’t handle.
‘‘She was nervous heading into the game, but I told her if she doesn’t win she’s still got 11 more years to get the title,’’ her mother, Naomi Cartwright said.
‘‘It’s very exciting to see her compete at this level so early on and she just loves bowls. It’s one of those sports that’s a bit different to everything else, and you can even win a bit of money if you do well enough.’’
Cartwright’s mother had the whole family spectating.
‘‘I live streamed it to Facebook and had people in Ky as well as my brother from Ireland watching on so it was just fantastic they could see her,’’ Naomi said.
The Kyabram Bowls Club members will be watching on in February as a level-headed Cartwright takes on some serious competition.