Dawn Hayman is helping blaze a trail for aspiring female bowlers after accepting a coaching position at her junior club Fairy Meadow.
The 23-year-old Australian representative is believed to be the first local female coach in Illawarra and began her new role last Sunday by mentoring a group of Fairy Meadow members. The role is initially one group session per month, but members can book in for one-on-one coaching with their home-grown Australian star.
''A few months ago I completed the general coaching certificate which allows me to be able to fulfil a role as a club coach,'' Hayman said.
''For a while I've had chats with the club about helping out and now with the certificate I feel the timing's right to start coaching. It's a great opportunity to teach the fundamentals of the sport I love plus it's another step in my development.''
The group sessions will serve to improve the general skills of Fairy Meadow members and are open to bowlers of all ability.
''We'll run drills and introduce some techniques to improve skills. We have to start with a small group due to COVID, but once we get started who knows what it might lead too.''
Hayman is maintaining her commitment to top Sydney club St Johns Park, but Fairy Meadow BC will always have special ties after being introduced to the sport through her mother and her friends as a 10-year-old.
With elite bowls still effectively in lockdown due to COVID-19, Hayman has had an extended break and is a regular at Fairy Meadow practising and preparing for a busy 2021.
And while 2020 has been virtually a write-off at national level, Hayman is coming off her best season in 2019 in which he won the Australian Open Pairs with Genevieve Delves, plus won the NSW and Australian Champion of Club Champion Singles.
Hayman was to represent Australia at the World Champion of Club Champion Singles in Adelaide later this year, but the event was cancelled. There is some chance the 2019 and 2020 Australian winners might get to compete in a joint world event in 2021 but the scheduling for most international events remains undecided.
Last month Hayman won the 2020 St Johns Park Ladies Singles, allowing her to again compete in the 2020 NSW Champion of Club Champion Singles to be held next year.
''I'd love to have another good run at the state event and who knows even get to the Australian Champion of Champion Singles again,'' she said.
And while Hayman just missed out on making the team for next year's World Championships she has her sights on making future national squads. Right now her focus is also on improving bowls at a grass roots level.
''I can remember going down to Fairy Meadow as a 10-year-old, so it's great to be able to give back something to my junior club.''