Little girl battles on the big stage

By TANIA PHILLIPS

AT an age when most young girls are putting posters of their favourite pop or sports stars on their% bedroom walls, 12-year-old Breeanna Dickson is becoming a star in her own right.

The South Australian Primary School student created a little piece of history yesterday, becoming the youngest person ever to compete in the Australian Indoor Bowls Championship.

Her appearance, after qualifying through her home state and beating several of Australia's top bowlers, shatters the myth that bowls is an old person's sport. But while she put up a good fight, the youngster bowed out in the first round to Queenslander Veronica Elliot 9-2, 12-2.

However mum Melanie said Breeanna, who chose to swap ballet for bowls, was just happy to have the adventure of coming to the Tweed for such a big tournament.

It was through her mother that Breeanna first discovered the sport aged just eight.

"I used to play social bowls at night and Breeanna decided to come along one night," she said.

"I was thinking of taking the sport up but it has become Breeanna's sport now."

Just months after she started, Breeanna was already make waves in her new-found sport, beating much older competitors to take out the SA Under-18 pairs competition. Earlier this year she played in the Australian Open, also losing in the first round.

"This is the first time she has played in front of this many people," her mum said.

"We usually only get 5-10 people at home. She was a bit nervous about playing here."

But Breeanna's going to have to get used to big crowds if she wants to fulfil her ambition.

"She wants to be the youngest player to play for Australia at the Commonwealth Games," her proud mum said. The indoor championship continues at Tweed Heads Bowls Club until Thursday.



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