The 2016 Australian Open is creeping up ever so quickly with entries set to close in just 44 days, the world’s biggest festival of bowls will be here before we know it!
For our 2015 Women’s Singles Champion Ellen Ryan, June 11 can’t come quick enough with the NSW sensation ready and raring to defend her coveted singles title on those very Gold Coast greens that shot her to fame.
The 18 year old was a last minute entry into last year’s Australian Open having considered missing the event due to year 12 commitments; however when an offer to team up with Australian Jackaroos and former Australian Open Champions was dangled in front of her, the teenager couldn’t resist.
“To start with I wasn’t even considering going to the Australian Open at all as I was completing my HSC,” said Ryan.
“Lynsey Clarke asked me to play in the fours with her team alongside Anne Johns and Rebecca Van Asch and that was too good of an offer to refuse, so I thought why not give the singles a crack while I’m there.”
Ryan had little expectations going into the singles event; thinking a top 16 finish would be very satisfying.
When the dust settled on the 2015 event, Ryan walked away with a semi-final appearance in the fours and a $16,000 winner’s cheque courtesy of that famous singles victory live on Fox Sports; not to mention, a career kick starter that has seen the 18 year blast her way onto the international scene.
Subsequently since the Australian Open, Ryan has been selected to compete in the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa where she picked up silver in the singles and gold in the mixed pairs, she has won the Marj Morris Trophy with the NSW open state side at the Australian Sides Championships, she is now a member of the 10 women Australian Jackaroos Squad and just last week was announced as one of Australia’s representatives in the World Junior Championships.
Ryan was also honoured as one of five young recipients to receive mentoring from Australia’s greatest sporting personalities, as part of the 2016 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program.
The Goulburn based Cabramatta bowler is paired up to be mentored by four-time Olympic gold medallist Dawn Fraser MBE.
Ryan’s life has certainly changed since winning the Australian Open Singles; however, the humble teenager says whilst she has been able to get her name out across the bowls community there is still a lot of work to do.
“Winning the Australian Open has helped with selection into the Australian Jackaroos and to transition out of the junior ranks, but I know I have to work really hard just like everyone else if I am going to represent Australia at a senior level one day,” said Ryan.
Ryan knows better than anyone, you have to be in it to win it, and she has some advice for people who are thinking about entering the Australian Open this year.
“The Australian Open is well worth the trip and the experience; it is a brilliant set up, hard competition, good sportsmanship shown by all competitors, amazing venues on the Gold Coast and you just never know what the end result will be unless you have a go,” she said.
Entries for the 2016 Australian Open close on April 3.
Click here for more information or to enter online.