It has been a fantastic couple of weeks for young table tennis player Darcie Proud.
The King Edward VI Academy student has been selected to represent her country at the forthcoming European Minis event, taking place in Strasbourg from August 28-30.
Her call-up came after she won a bronze medal at the under 11-14 National Championships held in Sheffield.
Darcie will travel with eight other players, and will compete in the under 12s girls’ competition, where her teammate will be national champion Jasmine Wong.
Dedicated Darcie, who travels an average of 350 miles each week to receive coaching from Gainsborough-based Paul Johnson, also hits the roads to tournaments or extra training camps at weekends, showing real commitment and dedication to the sport.
“It has been a fantastic couple of weeks for Darcie,” her coach said.
“I don’t think it could get much better than picking up a bronze medal at the nationals and then being selected to play in the European Minis, which will be her first international.
“It has been a topsy-turvy season for her with some real highs but also some difficult periods too.
“However, she has always stuck at it and worked hard in the training hall trying to put right the wrongs and improve her game.
“Being selected to play for your country is a real privilege at any age.”
Darcie’s next aim is to successfully make the step up to international level.
As Paul continued to explain: “It is one thing to be selected to play for your country but a completely different thing to win for your country, which is ultimately what we want to do.
“We shall be putting the hours in and working extremely hard, not only leading up to the Europeans but after that too, to try and make this happen”.
Darcie first started playing table tennis a couple of years ago when taster sessions were held at Skegness Grammar School by Hong Hong Peebles, who has coached fellow Skegness table tennis success story Tom Jarvis.