REPRESENTING Australia is the highest honour an athlete can accomplish – a rare feat afforded to the very best.
For Wagga man Jim Nicholls it is a dream come true.
After setting himself a goal to wear the green and gold before his 50th birthday, Wagga’s croquet king will make his debut at the World Championships next year.
“It’s a huge honour,” he said.
“It’s something that you aspire to.
“When I started playing croquet I didn’t think about playing at that level, but then I suppose 18 months or two years ago I set myself a goal. I started thinking about what I needed to do to get to this sort of level.
“The goal was to represent Australia before I turned 50, I just didn’t think the opportunity would come up quite so quickly.”
Speaking yesterday, Nicholls admitted he is thrilled for the opportunity to represent the country on home soil when the championships take place in Adelaide in April.
Nicholls is working his way through a training program in preparation for the competition, working with a high performance Australian coach to find his peak.
As a member of the Australian squad, Nicholls is most looking forward to working in a team environment with the rest of the representatives.
“I’ve never represented internationally before or played within a team so it’s quite exciting – it’ll be a new experience,” he said.
Having reached his goal sooner than expected, Nicholls has set himself one more task before the championships.
“I’d like to make it to the final round of 32 knockouts, that’s the goal for the World Championships,” he said.
“If I make it to the top 32 I would be ecstatic.