Amelia Bruggy becomes first female BBD division one premiership player


TWO years after she became the first teenage female player to play division one bowls in the Bendigo Bowls Division, Amelia Bruggy has become the competition’s first female premiership player.

The 18-year-old, who three years ago became Bendigo Bowls Club's youngest ladies champion at age 15, continued to break new ground by being an influential contributor in her club's premiership success last Sunday.

Bruggy played as the second in the rink skippered by Andrew Brown.

The talented teenager, alongside Brown, lead Mick Manning and Tim Arnold, went head-to head with gun Bendigo East skipper David 'Crackers' Keenan, Tom Lester, Tait Fuller and Paul Moller in one of the grand finals more evenly contested match-ups.

The Bendigo quartet narrowly took the points 26 shots to 25, as their team notched its second premiership in three years 91-89.

That Bruggy was even at Kangaroo Flat for the premiership decider was remarkable in itself.

She only recently moved to Tasmania, where she is studying agriculture and business at university.

The Victorian junior representative flew back for the occasion, as she did for Bendigo's 14-shot victory in the qualifying final, also against Bendigo East.

Bruggy admitted to feeling very nervous on the final end, after little separated the two teams despite Bendigo holding a 13-shot advantage earlier in the contest.

"We were comfortable at half time, but coming down to the last end everything was shaky," she said.

"My teeth were chattering and I could not hold my bowl.

"To come away with it is the best feeling ever."

Bruggy said being the first Bendigo Bowls Division female player to be part of a division one premiership was something she would always be proud of.

"Especially coming from Hobart to play (on Sunday), I'm so glad I got the chance to do it and be part of this club," she said.

"I flew back another week for a district final and I've been coming back for each final that we've played.

"I'm so glad that I did it, it was worth every minute of that travel."

Bruggy was just eight-years-old when she first attempted bowls, accepting a neighbour's invitation to a 'come-and -try' day at Lake Boga Bowling Club.

She wasted little time making an impression on the green, making her first state team at 12, lining up for Victoria against the Australia Capital Territory.

Bruggy has since represented her state about 10 times and last year was victorious in the women's fours final at the Australian Open alongside Kyneton's Chloe Stewart, who has since moved to the Gold Coast, Tiffany Brodie and Georgia White.

The teenager will continue to play bowls in the Apple Isle, signing with the Kingborough Bowls Club, about 20 minutes south of Hobart.

Bruggy said it was too early to tell whether she would be back at the end of the school year to help Bendigo defend its newly won bowls crown, but conceded she would miss the club and teammates if that failed to happen.

"It's a great family at Bendigo Bowls Club, we all get along. It's so much fun all the time," she said.

"The experiences with them have been awesome.

"To win something like this with people who mean so much to you, it's an awesome feeling."