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Year Awarded: 2016
Sport: Lawn Bowls
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Ellen Ryan - Lawn Bowls

Despite her tender age of 18, Ellen Ryan has quickly established a reputation as one of lawn bowls’ brightest prospects at the senior level, following a stellar year on the national and international stage.

Ryan’s performance representing NSW at the 2014 Australian Under-18 Championships in the Northern Territory, where she claimed a gold medal in the girls’ pairs and a bronze in the fours, not only assisted the Blues secure the girls’ overall winner’s trophy, but also cemented her position in the coveted 10-player Australian Under-18 Squad for the next 12 months.

On the senior arena, Ryan was part of the best performed rink at the Australian Sides Championships in Perth, where NSW won a historic four-peat of the women’s Marj Morris Trophy, unbeaten against all state and territories.

Ryan contributed to a changing of the guard for the national bowls team at the 2015 Trans Tasman test series in Christchurch, selected to make her debut in the five-strong Development Women’s team after progressing through the under-18 ranks, where she represented the nation with distinction.

Without taking away from her other successes, Ryan’s biggest win of her short-lived career came at the $225,000 Australian Open in June this year, where she paved a way past a 300 player field to secure the blue-ribbon women’s singles title and the $16,000 cheque that accompanies it.

In the aftermath of the event, the national selection panel bestowed upon her inclusion into the sport’s top high performance team, the Australian Jackaroos squad, for the next 12 months, reenergising the team ahead of the 2016 World Bowls Championships.

Her sensational form on the green this year has also been recognised by the sport’s national body, having been selected as one of two finalists in the Under-18 Female Bowler of the Year category at the Bowls Australia’s 2015 Awards Night, to be staged on October 29.

Mentor:  Dawn Fraser AO MBE

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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.