Cottrell relishes storied career in bowls scene
LAWN BOWLS: While Noosa's Kelsey Cottrell has enjoyed a storied career on the world's bowls greens over the past decade, it's one she never dreamed was possible when first taking up the sport at 12 years old.
Cottrell will hit the greens on the Gold Coast this week for what is her third appearance at the Commonwealth Games and is primed for a top placing having already won bronze in 2010 (India) and silver in 2014 (Glasgow).
She believed the time was right to go one step further.
"That's the plan (gold medal) and it has got a good ring to it - gold on the Gold Coast,” she said.
"That's definitely what I've been working towards and definitely my teammates as well and we're going to give it our best shot.”
Cottrell has plenty of history in the sport and is a three-time world champion.
And while gold is at the forefront of her efforts this week, to even have that opportunity is something she's still pinching herself about.
Reflecting on her career so far, Cottrell was amazed, and humbled, by where the sport had taken her since first hitting the greens at Tewantin Noosa Bowls Club when she was 12.
"I've definitely come a long way since then,” she said.
"I've been all over the countryside and all over the world which is pretty awesome and it's nice to look back on some of those memories that I've had over the years.
"(There's been) Some gold medals, some silver and some bronze in amongst it and some nice trophies and a bit of prizemoney (too).
"So it's been a pretty good career so far and I'm very lucky, very privileged and didn't for a second think that that was going to happen when I took the sport up at 12 years of age.”
Although she still competes for St Johns Park Bowling Club in Sydney, Cottrell is based on the Gold Coast these days.
She recently welcomed her first child, Sienna, into the world in August last year.
Having the Games near her home, and seven-month-old daughter, was something she relished.
"I haven't been a part of a home game before,” she said.
"(But) It's a relaxed feeling being at home and knowing that our family is going to be there and supporting you is something that I haven't had in the past (at the) Games.”
After such a big build-up, Cottrell was itching to hit the greens this week to compete.
Having battled with the best in the sport for numerous years she was also confident nerves wouldn't be an issue as she walked out onto the greens.
"When there's about 2000 people in the grandstand that might be a bit unique for bowls and that might bring about some sort of nerves but I've never really got nervous before,” she said.
She will contest the fours and pairs divisions with the former starting on Thursday.