As of one week ago, Goulburn can lay claim to having the top-ranked female Australian bowler in its midst.
Bowls Australia announced Ellen Ryan had claimed the mantle, to mark the first change to the top spot this year.
Ryan was extremely pleased to hear the news, and said that she sees it as a pleasant consequence of being able to represent her country.
“My main goal is to play for Australia, and to come off as Australia’s number one for the time being is a bonus,” she said.
“I’ve got to keep working at it, and stay on top, because it doesn’t take much for somebody to win a tournament and jump to first.”
Following on from this achievement, the 21-year-old said her next goal would be the upcoming Australian Open, which will be her first opportunity to protect her new national title.
“I’ve got the Australian Open coming up, so that’s a big one,” Ryan said.
“[I’m feeling] pretty good. I’ve been playing a fair bit. Last month I went to Darwin. We won best Australian sides there. We got best-performed rink.
“A lot of match play is good heading into [the Australian Open].”
Some players tend to find they perform best with intermittent breaks and rest periods, while others need constant match play to maintain their form, and Ryan is certainly one of the latter.
“I would much prefer match play, more game scenarios than out there training on your own,” Ryan said.
“It gets a bit lonely, so it’s good to be able to verse people and play with your teammates as well.”
Her Australian teammates deserve a lot of the credit for her achieving the number one spot, Ryan said.
“It’s awesome to play with Australian and the world’s best players,” she said.
“It helps being able to play with and against the world’s best players.
“Most of them are quite approachable, I guess, and as they have such a high profile, they’re quite professional to come over and say g’day, which is quite nice as well.”
Now that she has achieved one more milestone on her checklist, Ryan explained more of the goals she has in her sights.
“We have World Bowls, that’s coming up,” she said.
“I [also] just got picked for a UK tour, so that’s already leading up to 2022 Commonwealth Games, so I’m really looking forward to going over there.
“We’ve got a Test Match against England, and then we’ve got the Welsh International. So that would be awesome to do well over there.”
There will, however, be new challenges for Ryan to overcome in the UK.
“There’s totally different greens [in the UK] as well, different pace of greens. So it’d be really good to give that a good crack,” Ryan said.