ROLLING ON: Kawana’s Julie Keegan hopes to play a role in the Australian team at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
ROLLING ON: Kawana’s Julie Keegan hopes to play a role in the Australian team at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Womens Bowls NSW

Stalwart’s experience a key to Gold Coast gold

BOWLS is a young person's game ... Julie Keegan knows that.

But the 50-year-old Kawana player is still committed to helping Australia win a Commonwealth Games gold medal.

The former world champion knows her days leading Australia to glory are over but she is eying a behind-the-scenes role that could be just as pivotal to the national team's success.

Keegan said she wants to help Australia at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast by helping nurture and identify a new crop of talent.

"I'm going to be too old to play for Australia then," she said.

"There are a lot of young ones coming through that will probably push other people aside.

"Four years is a long time in bowls, a lot of people can come through.

"They're identifying a lot of good players out there at the moment and earmarking them for the Games on the Gold Coast."

Keegan has played more than 100 Test matches for her country and claimed a gold medal in fours at the 2008 world championships where she also snared a silver medal in the triples.

She wants to use that experience to help younger bowlers lead Australia to glory.

"We've got a lot of juniors up and coming that have so much potential," said Keegan, who still represents New South Wales.

"The junior programs across Australia are so good compared to other countries.

"We've got so many good juniors nationally."

Since arriving at Kawana three years ago, she has been an integral part of the coaching and development team that has turned the club into the Coast's most feared.

While she remains as competitive as ever on the greens, Keegan derives as much pleasure from seeing a team-mate do well as she does from winning.

"I'm getting a buzz being at the club here and coaching and seeing people develop and step up and improve," she said.

"I'd like to maybe step into a different role, maybe put my hand up as a selector down the track at a higher level."

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