Horsham tenpin bowler Sophie Martin will fly to Paris in March to represent her country at the inaugural World Bowling Junior Championships.
A huge 12 months for Martin culminated with her selection for the Australian team, which comprises only two boys and two girls.
Martin, 16, has represented Victoria at national youth tournaments during the past year, and represented Australia at the Asian School Tenpin Bowling Championships in September last year.
She said she was excited to don the colours of Australia once again.
She said her selection was the product of years in a national training squad.
“When I started representing Victoria I thought that was the top level, but then I found out there was a chance I could represent Australia,” she said.
“To make the Australian team you have to be part of the national training squad, and there are 12 juniors in that.
“This year will be my third year in the training squad.
“There is a camp in Canberra that we go to, and then after all the tournaments there is a training day where you get a bit of coaching.”
Martin said she was excited to be part of the first ever World Bowling Junior Championships. The trip will also be her first time in Europe.
Martin said she did not know what to expect when she arrived.
“I was excited, but also nervous to go over when I found out I had made the team,” she said.
“I’m nervous about the competition and the fact there are only four of us going there.
“There are a lot of countries competing, so I think it’s going to be big.”
Australia will be one of 27 nations at the championships.
Martin said she took up bowling five years ago and quickly grew to love the sport.
“The fact that mum’s partner owns Horsham Lanes and Games helped me get into bowling,” she said.
“When I started I was doing it for fun, and then I started competing.
“I like going away and the environment of meeting up with everyone.
“People think it’s just rolling a ball down the lane, but it’s such a big mental game. I enjoy the mental challenge.”
BOUND FOR PARIS: Horsham’s Sophie Martin will represent Australia at the inaugural World Bowling Junior Championships in France in March.Picture: PAUL CARRACHER