Most teenagers only bowl at social gatherings.
Not Kelsi Beauchamp. To her, bowling is serious business.
“They think it’s kind of different and weird because they never hear about people going to competitions for bowling,” said Beauchamp, 16, of what her friends think of the sport.
“They don’t even know that you can travel for it to the U.S. and all over the world.”
Beauchamp, a Bethlehem Catholic High School student, has done her share of bowling-related travelling and aims to do plenty more.
She became just the fifth girl since 1971 to win the Youth Bowling Canada triple crown — and the first from Saskatchewan — when she won the senior national championship in Toronto earlier this month.
Beauchamp prevailed in the bantam division in 2011 and junior division last year.
“I got a lot of attention for winning the triple crown,” she said. “I didn’t think any of this would happen. I didn’t think I would ever get this far.”
Beauchamp became interested in the sport when her babysitter, Marge Wear, took her to an alley when she was about seven years old.
She was hooked while watching her older brother, Justin, compete at nationals. By 2010 she was on the competitive circuit.
Her mother, Patrice, moved her over from five-pin to 10 to better align travel schedules with Justin’s bowling.
Patrice joked that her daughter wasn’t pleased when they made the switch, but it certainly worked out for the best.
“I like 10 pin a lot better,” Beauchamp said. “It’s more exciting.”
Beauchamp trains out of Fairhaven Bowl, practising once a week and playing in two leagues.
T.J. Bilan has coached her for four years, helping her pick out targets on the lanes and get more revolutions on her rolls.
But Beauchamp’s outstanding trait is her mental fortitude.
“She’s always had a great head on her shoulders and is always able to listen and try something different,” Bilan said. “That’s important to do because you’re never going to get the same thing twice.
“She’s really put in the time and the effort. It really shows with her accomplishments.”
Bilan was “blown away” that Beauchamp completed the triple crown, only because she was in her first year in the senior division.
Beauchamp is now hoping to attain an NCAA bowling scholarship.
Since rounding out the triple crown, Beauchamp has qualified for the Canadian team for the youth worlds, which take place next year in Lincoln, Neb.
It will be her second international event after competing in Florida in 2014.
“Nebraska will be a lot different bowling against European people,” Beauchamp said. “The level of competition there will be a lot higher than what I expect.”