Tasmania’s keen prodigy
How often do we hear stories of juniors taking up the sport of Lawn Bowls because of their grandparents influence?
Tasmania’s Hollie Keen is a prime example of a youngster tagging along with Nan to social bowls and finding that she not only thoroughly enjoy the game, but she had great hand-eye co-ordination and natural ability.
Many clubs are opting to have open days where current bowling members are encouraged to bring their families along to experience bowls for the first time, and often people are finding that bowls is a great opportunity for families to play a sport together.
At 16 years of age Keen has been playing bowls for three years and is already having some great success on the apple isle.
Keen has been selected in the Tasmanian open side to compete in the Australian Sides Championships at Yorkine in Western Australia playing second for one of her favourite current Australian Jackaroos Tasmania’s Bec Van Asch.
Representing Tasmania in Australia’s only national state verse state competition will be a highlight for Keen, whilst getting the opportunity to play alongside the 2012 World Pairs Champion Van Asch (nee Quail) will be an incredible learning experience for Tasmania’s rising star.
Tasmania has opted for a youthful side with Keen surprisingly not the youngest member of the Tasmanian Open Ladies team; Makayla Gibson is a few months younger and could potentially be the youngest competitor at the 2015 championships.
Keen’s junior career has laid a great platform for her transition into the senior ranks; Keen has won two bronze medals at the Australian Junior Championships and is the current Tasmanian under 18 singles champion.
Upon winning the state singles Keen faced off with the junior boys state singles champion Jack Ellis for the chance to team up with Australian Coach Steve Glasson OAM in the Penguin Classic Pairs; Keen reigned supreme and was extremely appreciative of the opportunity to play alongside one of the greatest players to ever represent Australia.
Teaming up with the Australian Coach will go a long way to achieve her dream of one day representing Australia and following in the footsteps of Australia’s most capped representative Karen Murphy.
Keen has been successfully juggling the growing demands of bowls competitions and training drills required by all National Training Centre Squad members and also competing at a national level in her other chosen sport Softball, where she is the under 17’s pitcher for Tasmania.
The Turners Beach local has plenty of support from her school principle at Ulverstone High School who allows Hollie to take Thursdays off to participate in division one pennant for Sheffield.
Whilst Keen is still at school working toward her dream career working as a sports physiotherapist and trainer for an elite level sporting team, she is making the most of her rapid rise to the top of bowls and still enjoying the sport enormously.
Keen will continue to work with TAS/VIC NTC Coach Mark Cowan and is defiantly a young player on the rise.
Caption- Image courtesy of The Advocate, photo taken by Katrina Dodd