A four-year-old has been upstaging some of Australia’s best lawn bowlers in Bendigo this week.
While his father, Todd, and half-brother, Dylan Fisher, have been playing for Victoria against South Australia, it’s Jett Simmons who has been one of the talking points of the Interstate Test Series.
The youngster has wowed onlookers at the Bendigo Bowls Club by rolling full-size bowls with amazing accuracy.
But Jett isn’t too sure what all the fuss is about – after all, it’s something he’s been doing for years.
“He was born basically down at the bowls green; he’s been playing bowls since he was two,” Jett’s mother Holly said.
“We’ve never ever coached him – it’s a hand-eye thing, you can tell. He just loves it, he loves the sport.”
There’s plenty of pedigree in Jett’s family to explain his natural talent.
His father Todd skips for Victoria and has represented Australia. Jett’s ability at such a young age suggests he could one day be following in his dad’s footsteps, although Mrs Simmons wants her youngest son to play other sports, too.
“Bowls for a young person is brilliant to learn the etiquette, learn the wide variety of age groups and to respect your elders,” she said.
“But in the early days I’m going to steer him to group sports like cricket and footy.”
The family’s involvement in bowls extends beyond the greens, too.
Todd is the business development manager at Melbourne Bowling Club, and Holly is a Bowls Australia administrator.
The Simmons also have two young girls, but there’s not much danger of them joining the family on the greens.
“The girls hate the sport; they’re not interested,” Mrs Simmons said.