WEST Tamworth’s Narelle Follington can’t wait to finally represent her country next year.
Follington is one of the top players on the seniors tennis circuit and has been since she started playing on it about a decade ago.
But until now, she hasn’t had the chance to go away with the national team.
She’ll finally get that chance in March, after being selected in the Australian Over 45s team to compete in the Seniors World Championships at Antalya, Turkey.
“It’s the first time I’ve been away,” she said.
“I’ve always been trying to nominate.”
It’s just never worked out that she’s been able to.
“I’ve never been so excited,” she said.
The championships will be staged over two weeks.
“The first week I’ll be playing for the Australian team,” Follington said.
“The second week I’ll be playing as an individual.”
She is one of four who will form the Australian team and will also carry the (c) next to her name, which is a huge honour.
“I couldn’t believe it when they said did I want to be captain,” she said.
It has been a bit of a disrupted year playing-wise.
“I’ve been injured the last couple of months with tennis elbow,” she said.
The injury has meant she hasn’t been able to play a lot, just enough to keep her ranking points.
But now she’s ready and raring to go.
“I’ve got the Australian Championships in Perth before that,” she said.
“That’s what I’m training mainly for.”
They’ll be held from January 6.
Follington will compete in the singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
She is currently ranked number two in the national rankings in the 40s ladies and two years ago won the ladies and mixed doubles titles at the
The nationals will be held on grass but, for the worlds, Follington will have to have her clay court game working.
“I’ve got to be very fit,” Follington said.
She’ll have to do what she can here and then travel when she can down to Sydney to get in some practice on the surface.
Follington has had some success on the surface, taking out the Victorian Championships back in March.
It will be a big financial undertaking to get to Turkey and Follington is hoping to pick up some sponsorship to help offset the cost.
The West Tamworth club is helping out but she’s hoping some more local businesses might come on board.
Anyone interested in helping out can contact the West Tamworth Club.