Young bowlers are still green
THESE are the fresh new faces of bowls.
At just 16, Ben Savva and Scott DeJongh are quickly making names for themselves as a formidable force on the east coast bowling circuit.
The babies of the bowls scene teamed up to take on the Summerland Pairs at the Ballina Bowling Club before disbanding to compete for individual glory in the Summerland Singles starting on Saturday.
Ben, from South Tweed, and Scott, from Byron Bay, have been honing their craft for three years now and hope to make a career out of the sport they love.
Scott already has a sponsorship deal with leading bowls and equipment manufacturer Henselite and the pair plan to continue their assault on bowls tournaments along Australia’s eastern seaboard.
Originally from north of the border, the boys are part of the Queensland under-18 squad and earlier this year won gold in the triples at the Junior National Championships played at Halekulani Bowling Club on the New South Wales Central Coast.
The spritely pair also won their district title and decided to head to the Summerland Series to see how they measured up against the best.
“This is one of the major bowls tournaments,” Scott said.
“The field is really good so we came here to test where we are as a team.”
Scott – the skip of the youngest pair competing in the Summerland Series – comes from a family of bowlers and sees a future for himself in the sport.
“I think it is going to keep getting bigger and bigger, there will be more tournaments and more money,” he said.
“Hopefully one day it will become an Olympic sport, I’d love to get a chance to represent Australia.”
Ben, who fell in love with the sport after turning up to a barefoot bowls afternoon, said he enjoyed socialising with an older demo-graphic.
But sometimes he wondered if they were so happy to have him.
“Most of the older guys are happy to have us around,” Ben said.
“But some don’t like it, usually that’s just because we beat them.
“I suppose they might feel like we are on their territory.”
Unfortunately this time the boys failed to progress beyond their section.