Tennis champion Mary Durrans is to fly out from Huddersfield to represent her country.
And that’s no mean feat considering she is 83!
Mary has been chosen to represent Team GB for the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Super-Seniors World Team Championships.
The player, who currently lives in Lindley, will be travelling to Umag, Croatia, later this month to take part in the Championships.
She is currently ranked 21st in the world for woman players over 80.
But she’s no stranger to international events; last year she competed in a tournament in Turkey.
She was born and brought up in Jersey but has lived in Huddersfield since the 1950s.
Mary plays at Huddersfield Lawn Tennis and Squash Club as often as she can and splits tennis with her other sporting passion, golf.
A member at Fixby, Mary now plays off 16 but was once a single-figure player and prominent in the Yorkshire Veterans organisation.
Mary said: “It’s fantastic! You meet so many interesting people because it’s the World Championships. You meet people from all over the world.”
She has ‘played tennis all my life’ and was titled as the ITF’s singles champion at the British Open Clay Court Championships in Bournemouth last year.
“I actually play tennis for Yorkshire and I kept meeting ladies from down South. They kept telling me to go to the tournament in Bournemouth, so I went and found a partner from Lancashire. Then I was chosen to play for Team GB in Turkey last year.
“Turkey was great! We stayed in a lovely hotel right off the coast.
“I played against people from Canada, New Zealand, Germany, France, Argentina and the USA.
“They had an official Opening Ceremony and I had to wear a uniform. It all felt quite posh but I felt very honoured and proud to be holding the Union Jack!”
This May, Mary won the ITF’s British Senior (Over 80s) Clay Court Doubles Tennis Championship at the tournament in Bournemouth with her doubles partner, 80-year-old Pam McGrath from Preston.
She said: “You don’t feel any more pressure than you would in any other game that you play.
“I like competitiveness!”
Last week, she also played at Wimbledon in The British Seniors’ Closed Grass Court Championships.
“It wasn’t as good as last year,” she says, “but it was good fun. I lost in the singles and was a little further up in the doubles.”