18 August, 2023
Somerset resident heads to UK for World Blind Games
Nicole Rowling (pictured) is ready to fulfil her dream of representing Australia in sport, as she prepares to compete in the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Games next week.
The Fernvale resident will play for the Australian women’s blind cricket team while England and India are the other competing teams, for the first occasion that blind cricket is part of the IBSA World Games – also known as the World Blind Games.
On Wednesday, Nicole caught a plane from Brisbane to Dubai before catching a flight from Dubai to the English city of Birmingham; the area where the World Blind Games is staged.
Classified as a B2 player for blind cricket, Nicole said in the lead-up to the trip that she was a mixture of nervous and excited.
“A part of me hasn’t even registered that it’s happening yet,” she said late last week. “It will probably fully hit me when I’m on the plane.
“Occasionally I feel nervous when I think about not wanting to let anyone down, but I remind myself that we’re playing at the highest level, and that’s something I can be proud of.
“Overall I’m more excited than nervous, as representing Australia is a huge honour, and something that might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.”
Nicole said she didn’t like to put too much pressure on herself, and that she wasn’t too concerned about her individual performances if the team played well.
“Of course I want to do well personally too, but the overall goal is for our team to perform well, and hopefully achieve the great results we know we’re capable of,” she said.
As her visual field is five degrees or less in both eyes, Nicole has worked on improving all areas of her game in order to become an all-rounder. She has done regular strength and conditioning work with personal trainer Sandi Constantine, and has also done individual skills training with coach and trainer Brodie Stephens.
“By being consistent week in week out, I know I’ve improved a lot over the past year, in particular,” Nicole said.
“I know I’ve put in the hard work, so now it’s just time to go over there and put all that training into practice, and have fun!”