St Johns Park Bowling Club’s Kelsey Cottrell rocked up to the Australian trials – some six weeks after the arrival of her first child and three months without putting down a bowl – and qualified for the Commonwealth Games.
Three months later and Cottrell – holding baby Sienna during the medal ceremony – was part of the Australia's women's fours lawn bowls team that defeated South Africa in a see-sawing gold medal match 18-16 on Monday.
Cottrell was joined be fellow club member Rebecca van Asch, Carla Krizanic and Natasha Scott for Australia’s first team or individual lawn bowl gold medal at a Games since 2006.
Cottrell, who now resides on the Gold Coast, was key member of the home side which picked up nine straight points at one stage in the match and had to withstand a four-point run by the South Africans in the last end to take the match.
Cottrell and van Asch will be looking to add to the medal tally in the coming days.
Cottrell made a winning start in the pairs with Cabramatta’s Karen Murphy with comfortable 24-5 win over Zambia while van Asch and her golden teammates Krizanic and Scott started their triples campaign with a 32-12 win against Paupa New Guinea.
Cabramatta’s Aaron Wilson began his men's singles campaign with wins against Taiki Paniani (21-6) and Brendan Aquilina (21-17).