Fresh faces on the green prove they're a force to be reckoned with

THEY might be relatively new to the Ballarat bowls scene, but Sarah Braybrook and Brooke Ayers are turning heads as two of the Ballarat District Bowls Division’s youngest midweek pennant players.

The Webbcona duo took up the sport on a mere whim about three years ago and since then have never looked back, both moving into the club’s top midweek pennant side and recently finishing runners-up in the regional champion of champions fours to Woodend.

Braybrook, 36, started bowling with Webbcona after attending the club’s corporate cup, while Ayers began her bowling career with Ballarat North before making the switch to her new club just a few months ago.

Braybrook’s competitive streak urged her to contest the women’s premier league bowls in Melbourne last year where she finished second overall as part of the Lalor team.

“I was initially one of those people who sat there and looked at bowlers and asked myself ‘what are they doing?’, but I quickly realised that it’s a very hard sport,” Braybrook said.

“It doesn’t look like a lot out on the green, but the competitiveness and team spirit is always there.

“I play third in our midweek division but also lead out for our premier division side which I absolutely love.”

Meanwhile Ayers, also 36, sees her time in midweek bowls as another outlet for her social life.

What I’ve been able to do in three months at Webbcona has been great – everyone bowls for different reasons, and I try and get out on the green four or five times a week,” she said.

“There’s so many aspects to bowling – you can take the social side to it or you can play competitively.

“Anyone who’s sitting at home looking for something to do can walk into a bowls club and be immediately welcomed with open arms.”