Grand Falls-Windsor -
Be it skier or skater, lead or libero, goalie or guard, the vast majority of athletes developed their love for sport as youths. And it most cases, their willingness to dedicate themselves to an athletic endeavour or endeavors also began at a young age.
The 2010 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games in Grand Falls-Windsor are proof of this sort of dedication.
Take Melanie Avery, from Deep Bight, and Clarenville's Emma Manning, They are here representing the Eastern region in bowling, but a few months ago, the two 16-year-olds were in danger of having their dream of competing in these Games go unrealized.
Avery and Manning, who have been five-pin bowlers since their grade school years, were two of the few senior female bowlers at Clarenville's Caribou Lanes and there didn't appear to be enough time to make up a team.
"But they really wanted to go," says Rosetta Avery, Melanie's mother and the eastern team coach.
They turned that desire into a recruitment effort.
Forget seeking out experienced bowlers, if you're going to the Games and you want to have the most fun possible - the underlying spirit of the week - recruit your best friends, even if they've never bowled before.
So in rolled Sarah Short and Cassi Bishop, both from Clarenville, and both athletes - Short's a basketballer, Bishop is a softball pitcher and both play volleyball
Neither had bowled much before, with Short having done some glo-bowling and Bishop trying her hand at 10-pin.
"I used to go and watch my friends, but I had never bowled like this before. I bowled 10-pin with my Dad, but that knocks them all down in one shot," says Bishop, who nevertheless thought her softball experience might come in handy.
"Because you're pitching underhand. (I) thought it would be about the same," Bishop says.
"But it's not. At all."
Short, meanwhile, didn't have any confidence to erode. She was counting on the worst.
"I expected gutterball, gutterball, gutterball."
Since January however, coach Avery insists the girls have "fit in perfectly," while "developing quite well in their approach to rolling the ball, getting stronger as each week went by."
And who better to show you the ropes than your best friends.
"(In) my first practice, they were a big help," recounts Bishop, "showing me everything that's on the lanes and how to line up your shots, explaining the lingo and helping me through it."
On top of this technical know-how, Manning - a provincial YBC medallist - offered up the best advice for a new bowler.
"Just keep a positive attitude, do your best and don't get discouraged."
The team finished fifth at the Games this week, mustering up a single win, but Short bowled a 191 in her first game Sunday, and admits she's been bitten by the bowling bug.
Bishop has been similarly nipped
"I'm definitely joining up next year," she says.