As a two-year-old, Tarkyn Percy wanted to copy his family at the Whyalla bowling alley.
He would stand on the carpeted area overlooking the playing zone and work his arm in a bowling movement, over and over.
Finally, he graduated at three-years-old to sending down his first bowl with a double-handed action that continues as his style to this day.
Tarkyn, now 11, took part in the South Australian Junior Circuit and finished third in the event at Noarlunga.
Competing with the adults at Bowland Whyalla, he has won many league trophies and is described as “one of our treasures” by the centre’s manager, Louise South.
“He is in our team on a Wednesday night and he has a higher average than his mother and I,” she said.
Tarkyn comes from a family which includes bowlers such as his mother Briony Roughsedge, his stepfather Martin Roughsedge, Martin’s father and grandfather and Briony’s mother who is now retired.
Mother and son play for 2 Blonde 2 Bowl in the Hospital League and Tarkyn competes for Snakes On A Lane in Starlighters League.
Tarkyn’s idol is Jason Belmonte, of Orange, New South Wales, who is the best bowler in the world and, like the young sensation, uses a double-handed action. “I would like to thank my Mum and my coaches Michael Braden and Richard Henderson and Martin,” he said.
Martin’s grandfather Bill Roughsedge is still knocking down the tenpins at 88 years old so Tarkyn is likely to have a long career ahead. Tarkyn bowled his first junior league event at three years old and won the competition called Bowlopolis.
“I can only remember little bits – I only remember getting handed a trophy,” he said. “I would not have been that much heavier than the bowling ball that I was using.”
He has contested two Country Cups, held at Easter, winning one in the B1 team and finishing runner-up with Berri in the juniors in the other one. He will attend the national junior championships in Melbourne in August.
What does he like about bowling? “Everything!” he said.