A 19-year-old lawn bowler is rolling ahead to Australia for the World Youth Championship next year after a close gold-medal performance at the 2017 Canadian Under-25 Championships in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on Aug. 7.
Carah Webster defeated the current U25 World champion Pricilla Westlake, also from B.C., 21-19 in a match she called “nerve-wracking” and “challenging.”
“It was amazing,” Webster says of her winning game.
“We always used to compete with each other in the juniors,” she says of Westlake. “It was a very tough game … I knew the game was going to be a challenge, and it was nerve-wracking because [Westlake is] such a good bowler.” Not helping matters was a surprise rain shower on the first day of the tournament, though luckily it cleared up in time for the final match.
Webster’s family and friends were cheering her on the whole time, of course. “They’re super, super excited [about my win],” she says. “My mom came with me to Nova Scotia, and as soon as the game was done, she came up to me crying and gave me a big hug.”
Though he wasn’t in Nova Scotia to witness the game, Webster’s longtime coach Craig Wilson is incredibly proud of her performance.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” he says. “She’s been a really good kid, she’s intelligent, and she’s easy to coach. It’s been a joy for me.”
An avid lawn bowler since she was 11, Webster snagged a gold medal victory at the juniors provincial championships in Sidney in July 2016, and followed that up with another gold-medal performance at the Canadian juniors national lawn bowling championship the following August. Looking at her track record, it’s clear that she’s on an upward trajectory.
“I’ve coached a lot of kids, and she’s one of the special ones,” Wilson says, who has coached Webster from the start of her career.
With the gold medal under her belt, Webster will now attend the invite-only world championship in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia next February. Luckily, she’ll have lots of time to practise: she’s taking the next year away from school to save money.
“Being that it’s in February, it works out that I’m not going to school,” Webster says. “I can definitely take the time off [and] can get in a lot more practicing on the green.”