Meet Olivia Rothwell
Olivia (17) started playing bowls in 2017 after a family member in the Northern Territory invited her along for a social game. She trains for around three to five hours a week, and competing can be anywhere from three hours upwards.
Olivia’s local club is only 15 minutes away, but competing in higher level competitions can mean travelling for up to three hours. If Olivia isn’t playing bowls or going to school, she’s usually reading.
Winning gold at the U18 Queensland Singles championship this year is a significant highlight and her proudest moment so far. Olivia is also proud of being able to represent both the Northern Territory and Queensland and wants to continuing to represent Queensland beyond U18s. She would also like to play premier league with Enoggera BC and play in every competition she has had to defer because of school commitments. She’d also like to see more mixed events on the bowls calendar.
When asked about the people she admires most in bowls, there were four names that immediately sprang to mind.
“Jo Edwards, she’s the nicest person I have met and played with; Maria Rigby, who has been a great bowler for so long; Chrissy Pavlov, a great coach, she helps me find my own way in a game and Kathy McGowen, who first taught me how to deliver a bowl properly.”
Sometimes the logistics of playing bowls can be challenging, such as when Olivia moved interstate, bowls and keeping her connection with friends was her focus. “Having to balance bowls and school and not being able to compete as often as I would like was difficult at times.”
Olivia says that while bowls can sometimes be seen as a very individual sport, there is a lot of teamwork involved. Her advice for new players is to “check your ego, there are better players you will come up against.”