Ten pin bowling teenagers strike places on England team
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019
Two Norwich teenagers have bowled the competition over to win places on England's ten pin bowling team.
Jake Everitt and Nicola Betts met, aged eight, at Norwich Youth Bowling Club (NYBC) where they set their sights on playing for England.
Enlisting Mr Everitt's grandmother, Margaret Jones, as a trainer, the 15-year-olds practise up to four times a week at Namco Funscape bowling alley in Bowthorpe.
And now all the hard work has paid off as the friends have secured two of just four places on the England team.
For the past three years they had competed in tournaments the breadth of the country, from Margate to Torquay, in order to secure their places.
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The news that they had reached the England team was more rushed.
Miss Betts, a Hellesdon High School student, said: "We were told at the very last minute so when we finally found out it was such a relief. Now I really want to do well for England."
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Mr Everitt, who picked up his first bowling ball at the age of four and has not stopped since, was just as thrilled with the news.
The Wymondham High School student, who started bowling as an alternative to football, said: "I'm determined to beat my personal best on the team."
The friends will take part in their first international tournament for England in Dublin, Ireland, in September after a two-day intensive training session in Stroud with the rest of the team.
While the Norfolk County under-18s champions and England team players make the sport look easy, they both revealed it took a lot of practice to get there.
Miss Betts, from Horsford, said: "It took me at least a year to get the hang of it as there are so many different step patterns."
Mrs Jones added that the first time Mr Everitt, from Wymondham, bowled he did not score anything but now has perfect aim.
Mr Everitt also said that the sport is harder than it looks as it involves a lot of technique.
He said: "It's worth it though, and it's very sociable. I've made friends throughout the country."
And for novice bowlers, Mr Everitt had some sage advice.
He said: "Don't expect to score high the first time."
For more information about joining NYBC see the website at www.norwichybc.co.uk