A LOCAL teenager will head to this year’s national under 18s lawn bowls championship with a distinct advantage.
Sixteen-year-old Tanisha Johnson was talent-scouted by Taylor Bowls, a top lawn bowls manufacturer, and now has a year’s sponsorship including clothes and equipment supplied.
Training more than twice a week in the lead-up to the championship, Johnson said it is a great opportunity to be a part of Team Taylor.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and lawn bowls is such a great sport to be involved in,” she said.
Despite working as a hairdresser, Johnson said she heads to the Dudley Park Bowling Club after work to hone in her skills.
And with her Team Taylor sponsorship, Johnson has the chance to learn from Australia’s most capped player to date, Karen Murphy.
“The ability to mix and be mentored by the likes of Karen [Murphy] is a great opportunity,” she said.
Murphy started bowling at the age of 11 and made her international debut in 1997.
Since then Murphy has won gold at both the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2008 World Championships and travelled the world to represent Australia.
Now providing training to Johnson, Murphy visited the Dudley Park Bowling Club on Monday to share her knowledge with the club’s juniors ahead of the championship.
Johnson is no stranger to the representative stage, with 2012 her third selection in the State’s under 18s squad.
With a number of wins already under her belt, Johnson will head to the championships in Tasmania which begin on October 1 full of confidence.
Taylor Bowls general manager Tim Howard said there was something special about sponsoring juniors.
“We try to sponsor juniors as they are the future of the sport; we want to keep them interested in the sport,” he said.
“The sponsorship is not only about the bowling but the development as well.”
Mr Howard said he expects Johnson to have a bright future ahead of her in the sport.
“Bowls Australia discovered Tanisha and she is a great representative,” he said.
Johnson will be joined on the trip to Tasmania by fellow club representatives Dayna Cant, Elizabeth Allan and Matt Ayres who have been selected in the state boy’s and state girl’s teams to head to the competition in October, while Eden Lawrence and Georgia Cant will travel as reserves.