Fun and Games for Kyabram junior athletes

Future stars: Sienna Willis (gymnastics), Grace Kilpatrick (athletics) and Jake Cartwright (lawn bowls) are among the aspiring sports stars being inspired by the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Teenage bowls champion Olivia Cartwright has her sights set firmly on a spot in the Australian 2026 lawn bowls squad.

Cartwright, who will this weekend represent Victoria at Moama in the Victorian open women’s team against NSW in the state test series, will be 22-years-old when the Commonwealth Games is hosted by regional Victoria.

There are 20 Australian bowlers involved in the competition at Birmingham this week.

She, along with brothers Josh, 16, and 12-year-old Jake have followed in the footsteps of father David and are highly regarded in national junior bowls circles.

David, Josh and Jake are this year returning from Tatura’s Hill Top club to play with Kyabram.

Jake has been playing bowls four years, where his father is the golf club bar manager.

The trio could potentially be playing in the same team.

Kyabram is going to be strong this year.

Olivia is playing at Moama this year. Last year she was at Hill Top.

Olivia has won every title available to her at under age level in the Goulburn Valley and is hoping to force her way into the green and gold for the 2026 games.

She is not the only Kyabram junior athlete with stars in her eyes, 14-year-old Little Athlete Grace Kilpatrick also aiming high.

Grace has a goal this year of again making an appearance at state level and challenging her metropolitan counterparts at the elite under-age standard.

In her fourth year with the Kyabram Little Aths organisation she is regional titles in a variety of events, among them the triple jump, 100 metre sprint, hurdles and 400 metres.

She has represented the Kyabram centre at state level in three of those and sets the pace for siblings Mia, 12, and Mason, 9.

Sienna Willis, 11, another St Augustine’s College student, used to be involved with Little Aths before she crossed to gymnastics.

This year she will compete with Mooroopna’s Jetts Gymnastics in the development league of the five round Australian Gymnastics Competitions — the second round being this weekend at Pakenham.

She trains two days a week, for three hours, then will compete at Grovedale, Diamond Creek and Airport West, having already completed the first round two weeks ago.

She has been involved in gymnastics for two years, she crossed over after constantly upside down or cartwheeling at home.

She will compete in floor, vault, beam and bars during the competitions.