Bega hockey player Barb Rogers is preparing to represent Australia.
She has been named in the Australian over 50s hockey side that will compete in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
She flew out on Sunday with her team that will contest the European Masters Championships this week.
“It’s like a dream come true,” Rogers said of what she descibed as a whirlwind 12 months.
Just a year ago, she trialled in Newcastle for the first time to make the Over 50s NSW team for Nationals in Hobart.
“I made shadow for the team and was more than happy with this result for my first attempt,” she said.
She expected to not see any game time as a reserve until she got a call from the South Australian team, but then was called into the NSW squad two weeks out from the contest.
“I was so excited as playing for NSW gives you a much better opportunity for selection at the next level”.
However, the excitement was short-lived after she sustained a calf injury during a practice session prior to the start of the tournament.
“I had to be rubbed and strapped every day to take the field, something I definitely was not used to”.
Despite the injury, Rogers shone throughout the competition,finishing equal top goal-scorer for her team.
“It was the best feeling when I scored my first goal for NSW and then followed it up with a second goal in the same match,” she beamed.
“Our team finished on top after the round games and played WA for the gold medal, but suffered our only loss of the tournament by a single goal.”
With a silver medal around her neck, Rogers was stunned to be named as a reserve in the Australian team for the Trans Tasman against New Zealand.
“Although I didn’t get a call up for the team, I still followed the same training regime as those in the team,” she said.
However, she was told in May she was being called into the team for the European tour, which meant upping the ante on her training schedule, which she said was hard to juggle with work on the farm.
“The support of my family has been tremendous and they are extremely proud of what I have achieved so far”.
Rogers said her two daughters, Emma and Joccoaa, are both very talented hockey players and are good training buddies for her.
Australia has been invited to the tournament in August for the first time this year to play against teams from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and The Netherlands.
“This is such a wonderful opportunity to play in the green and gold colours and against quality teams,” Rogers said. “The standard of hockey will definitely be a step up for me.”
The experience will prove hugely beneficial for the Bega player, who has already been named in the over 50s NSW team for Nationals in September – with potential to be selected for next year’s World Cup in Spain.