Coach excited to expose youngsters to big tournament
LAWN BOWLS: Two Mount Larcom High School students will compete in a prestigious competition over the next two days.
Georgina Douglas and Ky Bayliss will play in the State Secondary School Challenge at Pine Rivers Bowls Club in Brisbane.
The pair, both 15, are just another example of an increasing participation of the younger generation either starting or playing competitive bowls.
"I chose lawn bowls when Peter Tappenden came into school asking if anyone would like to have a go and go down to Brisbane and represent our school in the state schools tournament," Ky said.
Tappenden, best known as "Pedro" around lawn bowls circles, is the junior co-ordinator in the Gladstone region.
Ky has only played bowls in the health and physical subject at school and enjoys the sport's less vigorous nature.
"It's relaxing and everyone can do it but can be challenging and Pedro has shown some tips and tricks and how to play," he said.
The youngster aims to enjoy the competition and be competitive.
Georgina was also introduced to bowls last year at school.
"I fell in love with it and it's just relaxing and calming," she said.
"As long as I'm competitive and give it our best shot."
She has practised at least once a week since the start of last term.
Tappenden said there would be many eyes watching the two-day competition.
"All along the Pine Rivers green they have got this big deck and there could be anything up to 200 people there watching these kids playing," he said.
"It's bigger than Ben Hur really, as far as the schools go, and it's on my bucket list to win it."
Tappenden's aim is to get more youngsters to compete in this tournament.
"It's a good little program I have got going with the school here and this year I'll keep my eye on a couple for next year and get maybe four," he said.
"I'm one of few accredited coaches from around here and I have all the plane tickets because it costs all the kids nothing. Sports and Recreation sponsor it."
Ky and Georgina will play five games tomorrow and four on Thursday before they fly back to Gladstone later that day.
Mount Larcom will compete against 13 other schools, which will include one from Thursday Island.
Tappenden is not worried about winning or losing.
"I don't care if they don't win a game but as long as they are competitive, enjoy themselves and show sportsmanship," he said.