Sisters doing it for the ACT
Hayley Bowyer 17, Lara Bowyer 19 and Alana Bowyer, 15. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
A hybrid game of netball and Australian football concocted in a backyard has produced a hardened trio of sisters hoping to work their way through the netball ranks to eventually play for the Canberra Darters.
Lara Bowyer, 19, is the eldest and she will represent the ACT at the national under-21 championships at Lyneham this week, with the first game against NSW on Tuesday.
Hayley, 17, and Alana, 15, will travel to Darwin next month for the under-19 and under-17 nationals respectively. It will be Alana's first time in an ACT squad, but the second for her two sisters.
All three players are defenders, having played a mixture of netball and Aussie rules with their brother in a game that has ''no rules''.
Normally it is the eldest sibling that blazes the path into a sport, with the younger ones following, but with the Bowyers it was Hayley and Alana who first took up the game before Lara jumped on board when she was 15.
ACT coach Melinda Clarke will not disclose the line-up until Tuesday, but Lara was hoping to be in the starting seven.
''[I want] to get a starting-seven position and really represent the ACT to the best that I can,'' she said.
''It's really great to have it in the ACT and have a local crowd [cheering us on].
''I dabbled in a few other sports and didn't really find my niche and I've always watched these girls and thought it looked pretty good and I gave it a go and liked it.''
Keely Rodrigo was the first Canberra netballer to be picked for an Australian squad and she will play in the same team as Lara this week.
A fellow defender, Rodrigo has been an inspiration for all three Bowyers, but they get their ''competitiveness'' (or hard-nosed defending) from the game they concocted in the backyard.
National U-21 netball championships: At ACT Netball Centre, Lyneham. SA v QLD, 9am; ACT v NSW, 10.30am; WA v NT, noon; SA v VIC, 5pm; WA v NSW, 6.30pm; ACT v NT, 8pm. Tickets available at the door. Continues until Sunday.