Carla, Chloe set for BPL

In the just released Bowls Australia rankings for women the two top players in the nation are Carla Krizanic and Chloe Stewart, who grew up in Castlemaine and Kyneton respectively.
And this week they are playing in elite company at the exciting Bowls Premier League 12 event spread over four days at Moama.
Both are shining examples of how young girls can make their mark in sport to reach the highest level, regularly representing their state and country.
This newspaper has previously featured how Chloe Stewart began rolling a bowl around the Kyneton green at the age of nine, and progressed to the top to play for Australia. She is now assistant bowls manager at Tweed Heads Bowling Club.
The Express spoke to Carla Krizanic (nee Odgers) at the weekend and her story is an inspiration for youngsters to aim high and achieve their full potential.
From being unranked, Carla rocketed to number one in the Bowls Australia rankings, displacing Chloe who is now number two, after winning the Victorian Champion of Champions, and taking out the pairs and mixed pairs in the state championships. Carla, now aged 30, was also ranked at the top for a period several seasons ago.
“Growing up in Castlemaine, I was right into sport and very competitive at a young age.
“Playing for the Castlemaine Cannons (basketball) I wanted to be the next Lauren Jackson (Australian superstar).
“I didn’t play bowls until I was 15, and started with my sister Kristy at Keilor … the first event we won was the novice pairs.”
It’s fair to say Carla was a natural at bowls, and it was not long before the very talented teenager was in development squads and junior Victorian sides.
At Castlemaine her dad David was the only bowler in the family, and he was the biggest influence on his daughters trying out bowls. David and her mum Tricia now play bowls with Diggers Rest, where Tricia has won both club and divisional events this season.
Carla has been coached at Sunbury – where she now lives and plays – by Mark Cowan since she was a teenager, and she rates her career highlight as winning gold medals in the 2016 World Championships in the fours and triples. She is always excited to wear the green and gold and represent her country.
She has been skipper in Sunbury’s top team for some years, and hopes to make the division one finals despite a two-shot defeat on Saturday.
What does she like most about the sport? The fact anyone can play — young, old, male, female, people with disabilities, its the most inclusive sport and she is proud to be part of it.
Carla is a registered nurse, and for the past 10 years has worked at RM Begg Kyneton Aged Care.
She has nothing but praise for the long established not-for-profit facility, the management, fellow staffers and the residents.
The flexibility of being able to work at RM Begg and also meet state and national commitments is much appreciated.
Now 30, Carla is also being kept busy with her nine-month-old son Axel.
At Moama this week, Carla is playing for the Melbourne Roys in company with Aaron Wilson and Mark Flapper, and hopes the Roys go one better than runner-up to the Murray Steamers at the previous BPL.
Chloe Stewart is again playing for the Tweed Heads Ospreys, which won on debut at BPL10 with Aaron Teys and Kurt Brown the other team members.
There are eight teams, each with three interchangeable players, in the BPL. Action is broadcast nightly this week from 5-10pm on Fox Sports and Kayo.

Chloe Stewart, ranked number 2 in Australia. Photo: Bowls Australia

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