DROPPING out of school to persue your dream of being a professional bowler is a risky move.
Tweed Heads bowler Tyla Trenham did just that and has no regrets.
The 17-year-old left school in Year 10 and takes her bowling very seriously.
She got into the sport when her mum started working at a bowling centre when she was 10-years-old.
"It was either sit there and do nothing or bowl," she said.
"So I bowled."
From then her dreams of tenpin bowling began to flourish.
These days you can see Tyla practicing three times a week, coaching on occasion and constantly participating in bowling tournaments.
This weekend she will be polishing her shoes and ball and heading up to Kedron in Brisbane to compete in her last junior championship.
"I'm a bit sad, it will be my last time as a junior to bowl," she said.
Competition is tough and the pressure is on with a full entourage of bowlers, substitutes, coaches and family members coming along for the ride.
About 12 centres will compete at the championship in Brisbane.
However it is not all fun and games for the competitors, things can get on the rough side with some teams "crowding."
"It gets pretty bad," she said.
"They block your way so you can't bowl.
"We generally go in planning to lose our voices."
Earlier this year Tyla competed in the Sydney Junior Nationals against bowlers from all over Australia.
She came second in the classic team event.
When it comes to any special rituals the teen said she had none.
"Although people do tell me I always rub my thumb on my pants," she said.
"You've got to make sure your hands are as dry as possible."
The entire Trenham family are avid bowlers and Tyla has even managed to get her boyfriend on the bandwagon.
"Most of the time bowling makes me happy," she said.
"Sometimes it does frustrate me though."
Last Wednesday Tyla bowled her best ever score of nine strikes in a row and hopes her skills continue to grow so she can travel overseas with the sport she loves so much.
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