Caitlyn Cairns is hoping to strike it big this summer.

The Trumbull High School sophomore may be out of school right now, but she’s still got plenty of work to accomplish.

Cairns is one of four from Connecticut to earn a spot in the Junior Gold Bowling Championships in Detroit, Michigan next month. She’ll be competing against 350 other young female bowlers from across the United States.

Her goal is to place in the top 50 or better. A trip to the Junior Gold championships means much more than just bragging rights. It’s also a place to get national exposure.

“There are always college scouts at the competition, and I hope that they will notice me,” Cairns said. “And if I’m really lucky it could potentially earn me a college scholarship and ultimately the chance to one day turn pro.”

Bowling since the age of 9, Cairns has since earned several thousand dollars in college scholarship money from competitions and was even named Fairfield County Junior Girls Bowler of the Year in 2016. Trumbull High does not currently have a bowling team and so she bowls with St. Joseph during the school year.

To compete in Detroit takes a lot of talent and time.

Cairns practices at Nutmeg Bowl in Fairfield with mentor and professional women’s bowler Nicole Trudell, three to four times a week. But she’s quick to give credit to her coaches Chris Forry, Tim West, Matt Favereu and John Anderson. She considers herself lucky to have such great mentors in the junior program which is one of the best in the state.

And it’s more than just having a good arm.

Bowling is not only a physical sport, but mentally challenging as well. A good bowler must learn to read oil patterns and find the right ball for different lane conditions. And she’s no light-weight either. Cairns throws a 15-pound ball. Multiply that by five games a day for five days and that adds up to a lot of strength.

Cairns is also busy raising money for her travel and competition expenses. In between practices, she’s been scouring local beaches for seashells to create tea light jars. Each one is unique and features, sand, shells and a tea light. They cost $5 each, and every dollar raised puts her one step closer to the championships in Detroit.

“Our family loves the beach and we were walking together one night, and my husband came up with the idea and Caitlyn added her special touch to the idea,” said Amy, her mother.

To support Caitlyn and purchase one of her tea light jars, you can contact her at acairns1973@gmail.com or call her at 203-278-2393.  She even offers free local delivery.