Burnett's best back to bowl
LAWN BOWLS: North Burnett's own Kurt Brown, 27, first took up lawn bowls as a seven-year-old kid in Mundubbera.
He was blessed with a fantastic opportunity - the biggest junior bowls academy in Australia - but never imagined how far it would take him.
At the age of 17 he moved to Bundaberg to pursue competitive bowls and was rewarded with selection in the Queensland team.
By the time he was 19, in 2010, he had won the men's singles title at the national championships in his first televised match - the youngest in history to do it.
"I really exceeded my own expectations, I've won more than I ever dreamed I could” he said.
Brown was the boy from the bush who broke the stranglehold that players from southeast Queensland had on the competitive circuit.
"I guess I broke the mould. I made it from Mundubbera to number one which was unheard of,” he said.
"It has taken a lot of sacrifice, I'm always travelling and away from home.”
Despite the success, he loves coming back to Burnett to play whenever he can, representing Bundaberg in the Monto Pairs Open this weekend.
Monto Bowls Club secretary Lyn Woodall remembers the prodigious talent from all those years ago, on the green as the fresh-faced kid from Mundubbera.
"He grew up playing here and now he's one of the top-ranked players in the state,” Mrs Woodall said.
"Even though he's in the big leagues he still comes back every year.”
Brown has fond memories of the place he started his career, and said he will always love coming back.
"I just love the people, I've known all the guys since I was seven and they've followed my career,” he said.
"Even when I lived in Brisbane for five years I came here each year to compete.
"Peter Bennett from Eidsvold really took me under his wing when I was young.
"I still compete with him every July in Monto for the men's fours.”
With six Queensland mixed pairs titles, two Queensland singles titles and an Australian singles title to his name, Brown says he no longer has the hunger to compete at the highest level.
"I was never in it for the competition, it was more for the friendships and love of the sport,” he said.
"These days I'm more interested in barra fishing.”