Family backing the key to Tracey’s bowling success

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Alfie Rutherford in action for the Hawks against Petersfield in the Portsmouth Senior Cup Final. Picture: Sarah Standing

Hawks thrash Petersfield to win Portsmouth Senior Cup

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TENPIN bowling sensation Craig Tracey believes the support of his family is the key to his remarkable success.

Tracey, 15, will be pulling on his England shirt for the second year running next month after a superb triumph at the junior British Championships recently.

The Fareham Youth Bowling Club member won gold in the singles and qualified first for the England juniors in his age group.

He also took top honours in the doubles under-16s category with Mike Buckett, as well as silver in the all-events standings and bronze in the team event.

Tracey said: ‘The nationals were quite a success and winning four medals was really good.

‘It was fantastic not just qualifying but coming first as well.

‘It was quite an achievement, especially as I had a bit of an injury.

‘I heard my wrist pop halfway through and throughout the rest of the day it was really painful but I knew I just had to keep on going.

‘The first eight games weren’t brilliant but in the second eight it improved massively for me. I couldn’t have asked for any more.

‘I was obviously surprised at coming first but I do have high standards and I expect to do well in every tournament I take part in.’

He added: ‘I need to set myself high targets so I know I’m getting the best out of my abilities.

‘I do want to be one of the best in the world and if I can carry on as I am, who knows?’

Over the 16 games, his average was 205 and he finished with a pinfall of more than 3,000.

That performance shot him to the top of the pile in his age group, becoming the only under-16 player to qualify for England two years in a row. However, Tracey remains grounded about his achievements and acknowledges he couldn’t have done it without his family.

His dad Alan is the Fareham YBC secretary and used to bowl in his younger days, as did his older brother Liam, both of whom are a big influence on him.

‘My dad does a hell of a lot for me,’ said Tracey.

‘The amount of money he spends on me, travelling all over the UK, hotels, meals out, petrol, he can’t do enough for me.’

He added: ‘My older brother Liam is massively supportive of every tournament I do.

‘He can help me technically and give me advice.

‘For example, I was a bit nervous on the morning of the England trials but I spoke to Liam and he calmed me down. It really helped me.

‘I’ve got a really supportive family that I can’t thank enough.

‘My nan just says “do your best” and that’s stuck with me.’

Tracey will be donning the England kit for the Triple Crown competition in Coventry from August 22-24.

The five-man team will compete in singles, doubles and trios over three days against bowlers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

His next competition is the junior London international tomorrow, where he will be up against bowlers from America and Europe in his age group.

Tracey has his eyes on winning the £500 prize so he can buy some new bowling balls.

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