By LIAM TWOMEY
THE Western Warriors are launching the next generation of stars on the greens.
The lawn bowls squad, which is for junior bowlers in the west-metro region, has built a rich history on developing young talent since it was launched in 2006.
After nearly a decade of success, coach Terry Norris is aiming to expand the squad even more in the coming years.
“Basically the idea is to get kids outside and give them something to play,” Norris said.
“Our aims are to get the juniors to understand and play the game to the best of their ability and to foster companionship and camaraderie.
“We also teach kids how to be respectful to their team-mates, their coaches, the opposition and anyone connected with bowls.”
Squad members range from 10 to 18 years of age and are given the opportunity to compete in a range of tournaments and events throughout the state.
Norris said the Warriors have also helped a growing number of promising juniors reach the next level of competition.
“From our junior squad, we have a pathway to the bowls Victoria under-18 junior development squad of which we pick kids to represent Victoria,” he said.
“I’m pleased to say in that timeframe we have had 12 kids that have gone on to represent the state both in the national championships and also against state squads.
“We have now also got a boy and a girl who have been selected to represent Victoria in New Zealand in April.”
As well as introducing young athletes to the sport of lawn bowls, the Western Warriors are ensuring the future of local clubs.
With a number of teams struggling to maintain strong playing numbers, Norris said the next generation was the key to long-term success for everyone in the sport.
“Besides wanting to actively give kids something to do, we also see that these kids are the future of lawn bowls,” he said.
“We find it very hard to get people to come in at 40 years of age. We believe the juniors won’t always stay as bowlers but when they pass through the ranks, they’ll be back in future years because they have that mentality of playing bowls.”
Anyone wanting to find out more information about the Western Warriors can contact Terry Norris on 0402 927 705 or firstname.lastname@example.org.