Bundy Duo on trial Paralympics
BUNDABERG'S Ashley Parrott and Kate Juillerat will be hoping to qualify for next year's Paralympic Games when they contest a major international tournament in Hong Kong later this week.
They will represent Australia at the Asia-Oceania Regional Paralympic Table Tennis Championships and Bundaberg Table Tennis Association Development Officer Dave Delpratt expects both to acquit themselves well in the week-long event.
Parrott travelled to China last Tuesday for a week's training with his Melbourne team-mate Rory Carroll, but Juillerat flew out with her parents John and Leanne yesterday.
The 25-year-old admitted she was "a little bit nervous" as she prepares to chase her dream of booking a ticket to London.
Juillerat has previously achieved international success, but in a different sport - basketball, at the Special Olympics.
"I got a gold medal four years ago in Shanghai, but this will be harder," Juillerat said.
The tough competitor said she took up table tennis three years before that and it was now her No. 1 sport.
"I won the women's singles at the nationals in April this year and I will contest the Class 11 singles and my goal is to try and win all of my games, but it is my first time at this level and I don't know the format," she said.
Juillerat said she had done a lot of extra training over the past couple of months leading up to the championships and she believes she is in top form.
She is also grateful for financial assistance received from a number of people and organisations, including Rugby Bundaberg, which allowed her family to do collections on the gate during their Spring Cup season.
Delpratt will also attend the tournament as an umpire, in which he also has vast international experience.
"But you can be sure I will be silently cheering for our Bundy and other Australian players as I won't be required to umpire any of their matches," Delpratt said.
"They will certainly do Bundy and Australia proud."
Delpratt also said more information about the tournament can be obtained on line at http://rctt2011.hkparalympic.org
"It is an excellent website that you can use to also follow how Ashley, Kate and the rest of the team, including Rockhampton's Joel Coughlan, go against their Asian opponents," he said.