Nation’s capital young achiever
The Australian Capital Territory hasn’t had a young female shooting up the Australian ranks since Janet Healey was selected for the Australian Development team for the 2009 Trans-Tasman; until now.
Western Creek’s Jessica Hogan is working harder than most to achieve her goal of one day being part of the Australian Jackaroos and represent Australia.
With just four years bowling experience Hogan was selected in an Australian U-18 Squad back in 2014 and has just been re-selected in the ACT/NSW NTC Squad for the year ahead.
Hogan flies the flag for ACT in the National Training Centre Squad as the sole representative and at the tender age of 16 the Western Creek local has youth on her side.
The promising Canberra junior spoke very highly of five well known bowlers who she says are great role models in the sport.
“I have several people that I look up to in the sport, including Karen Murphy and Kelsey Cottrell,” Hogan said.
“As a junior I adore Ellen Ryan and Jaime-Lee Worsnop; both of these players are fierce competitors when I play them, however when the game is over they are really friendly and encouraging and I regard them both as great role models.
“Steve Glasson recently addressed the ACT/NSW NTC Squad and I was greatly inspired by his talk and it has made me very determined to push myself to be the best I can.”
Whilst her greatest achievements may still be ahead of her, Hogan was awarded ACT Junior Bowler of the Year in 2014 as a result of winning the ACT Junior State Singles and Pairs.
With the Australian Open just around the corner Hogan was very keen to play in the world’s richest bowls festival on the beautiful Gold Coast, the new epicentre of bowls.
Hogan’s original team members withdrew, so with a little help from social media, Hogan is now teamed up with bowlers from all over the country side.
“I’m entered in women’s singles, the under-18 girls singles, the pairs with Jill Gaffney and the fours with Joan Moss, Jill Gaffney and Liz Gray, ladies of whom I have only met through Facebook but I’m thrilled to be playing with,” Hogan said.
Off the bowling green, the next few years will be very busy for the bright student who has aspirations to study Law at university and one day join the law enforcement team.
“Aside from Lawn Bowls my other special interest is dancing which I work really hard at; I have a very busy schedule however bowls is an important part of my life and I will always find time to play,” Hogan said.
Hogan trains on a weekly basis and this weekend will take part in one of Bowls Australia’s registered ranking events at Canberra’s Belconnen Bowling Club alongside Australian Jackaroos’ Anne Johns and Kelsey Cottrell.
As a 16 year-old, getting to all the championships and tournaments would be difficult without the support of family and Jessica appreciates the efforts her mother goes to supporting her dreams.
“I’d like to thank my mum as it would not be possible for me to play the sport without her; she drives me to all my games and training both local and interstate, attends nationals and is very supportive of me and the ACT Team generally,” Hogan said.
“I would also like to thank my coaches past and present; Kate Carriage, Adam Jeffery and Kelsey Cottrell; I’ve learned so much from them and I would not be the bowler I am today without their support, encouragement and mentor-ship.”
Jessica Hogan will be a likely contender at the upcoming Australian Junior Championships at the Tuggeranong Valley Lawn Bowls Club in September.