TWO Uttoxeter bowlers have been given the opportunity of a lifetime after being called up to the junior England team.
Jordan Orchard and Amy Staveley, who both bowl at Cinebowl, in Town Meadows Way, have seen their hard work pay off after receiving news they had made it into the Under-18 Junior Team England.
The teenagers, who are members of the Uttoxeter Youth Bowling Club, are now preparing for the World Sports Festival in Vienna next month, where they will become part of the England team.
Thirteen-year-old Jordan, who has been bowling for six years, said: “I am speechless.
I was shocked when I got the letter. I did not expect it at all. I do want to make a career out of bowling.”
Amy, from Ashbourne, said: “It is a bit unreal. You hear of other people being picked for England but when it’s yourself it is unreal.
“I have mixed feelings about it as I am excited but also nervous. I felt I was ready but I wasn’t quiet sure 100 per cent if I would get picked.”
They were awarded the places after passing a trial in Sheffield and have been taken onto a three-year programme.
All members have to be of a minimum standard before they can be accepted.
The duo will visit the academy four times in a year for a full day of classroom lessons and practice on the lanes.
They currently go bowling every Saturday morning and compete in competitions and tournaments across the UK and Europe most weekends.
Amy, who has been bowling for three years, started bowling after a visit to the lanes with her family.
The 16-year-old is planning to join the RAF, which has its own bowling team, and will started a course in uniform public services at Buxton College next year.
Her mother, Lisa, said: “I am very, very proud of them. I couldn’t have wished for anything better.
“They really deserve this as they have worked so hard.” Jordan, who found his love of bowling during a birthday party at the former bowling alley in his hometown of Burton, hopes to go to college in America where bowling is classed as a sport.
Jordan’s father, Andy, said: “The Uttoxeter Youth Bowl Club has been really good in supporting them both.
“To have England on your back is an achievement in itself.” Mother Amanda said: “We are really proud of them.”
Neil Lodge, general manager of Cinebowl, said: “We wish them all the luck in world and hope that they do very well.”