TALENTED teen Amy-Louise Teal has bowled her way to her biggest achievement to date –selection to represent England at the World Sports Festival.
The 15-year-old ten-pin bowler will jet out to Vienna in July where she will put her skills on the alley to the test against competitors from across the globe.
The call-up comes less than a year after Amy-Louise made her international debut, picking up a gold and silver medal as she impressed in England colours for the first time.
But despite the joy of being selected for the upcoming World Sports Festival, the proud mum of the English Martyrs RC School and Sixth Form College student has revealed Amy-Louise may be forced to quit the sport she loves in the coming months due to a shortage of funding.
Joanne Tumilty, 33, works as an administration assistant at St Cuthbert’s RC Primary School, in the town, while Amy-Louise’s dad, Wayne Teal, 39, was medically discharged from the Armed Forces, but will stop receiving benefits in November this year, even though Joanne says he is still not fit to work.
And while the couple do all they can to support their daughter, Joanne said it annually costs them around £8,000 to pay for equipment, entry to leagues and transport four times every week to and from Washington and Sunderland for practice.
Amy-Louise also previously received around £300 funding every year from Grant Givers and was hopeful of being awarded £500 this year but Joanne discovered yesterday that money is now being allocated elsewhere.
“Bowling is Amy’s life,” said Joanne, who lives with the family in the Rift House area of Hartlepool.
“It’s what she loves doing. She doesn’t really do anything else. All of her friends are in bowling and she’s just getting better and better.
“But the cost is just going to be too much, with one wage coming in it’s going to be difficult enough to pay all the bills without the extra of paying for the equipment and travel.
“We’ll do absolutely everything we can as we always have, but it’s going to be difficult.”
Joanne has contacted various firms in the town in the hope Amy-Louise will get the financial support she needs.
Businesses who may be able to support Amy-Louise are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07969 964745.