Meet Chloe Runge
Chloe (16) rolled her first bowl at the age of 10, encouraged by her uncle and next door neighbour Bill Tumbridge, who is a junior bowls coordinator. She hasn’t looked back since then, practicing three days per week, and is fortunate enough to be within walking distance of her club.
Chloe has a few moments of which she is proud. “I competed in the recent Australian Open and got runner-up at my club Glasshouse Mountains, won Ladies B, Single Ladies A, Singles Ladies Pairs, Mixed Pairs Ladies and have also been consistently selected in the U18 State junior squad.“
“I hope that one day I can play for Australia and go further in my coaching, as I have recently completed a coaching course.” While Chloe says she doesn’t really have a bowls hero, there are a lot of people who have helped her along the way who she appreciates and looks up to. “My coach Jimmy Tatum and Jacqui Hineman have helped a lot, as well as Bill Tumbridge who has helped a lot with me and the 12 other juniors at our club, plus my uncle and the rest of the people at club have been very supportive along the way.”
Although Chloe is busy with bowls, it hasn’t interfered with her seeing family and friends. “They are very supportive and come along and watch most of my games,” she said.
Chloe doesn’t want others to think that bowls is “boring and an old person sport”, because it really isn’t . “There is so much more to the sport; it is exciting and it can be competitive just like other sports. There are so many friendly people; you make friends along the way,” she said. “There is more to it than rolling a bowl down a green, so don’t judge the sport till you have a go!”
Chloe would like to see more younger people playing the game and says that clubs need to encourage juniors and not make it seem like an “old person’s sport like most people think”. She suggests making it fun and exciting and holding more junior events to encourage new bowlers.