Rocky mum gets 'once in a lifetime' shot on world stage
HOCKEY: Jacinta Johns describes as a "once in my lifetime opportunity” the chance to represent her country at the Masters World Cup in Spain.
The Rockhampton mother-of-three will don the green and gold for the first time as a member of the Australian over-35s team that will take on the world's best at the 10-day tournament starting on Friday.
Johns earned her national call-up after impressing for Queensland at the nationals in Newcastle late last year.
"It's an amazing feeling to be selected for Australia,” the 38-year-old said.
"I was hopeful of being selected but not confident about it.
"To go away and play at a national level where you're surrounded by players of such a high calibre is an honour in itself.
"There was a lot of nervous excitement when I was first selected but now I'm really looking forward to playing for Australia with such amazingly talented women.
"I don't imagine I'll be able to do this again because it is such a big undertaking and a huge financial commitment so I'm going to make the most of it.”
Johns came late to hockey, playing her first game at 15 with Southern Suburbs, the club she still plays with today.
She continued for several seasons before heading away to pursue tertiary study.
Hockey fell by the wayside as she found other pursuits but on returning to Rockhampton in 2013 her younger sister and Australian representative, Andrea Farrow, talked her into playing again.
Johns admits she did not need much convincing and her love for the game quickly reignited.
"I was keen to get back into it and I really enjoy playing with Andrea because we never played together when we were growing up,” she said.
Johns downplays her ability but sees speed and tenacity as her greatest strengths.
"I'm a bit of a terrier, I don't give up easily,” she said. "I'm not the most skilful player but I'm fast.”
Johns is grateful for the incredible support she has received from the hockey and business community.
"Without the help of the Rockhampton Hockey Association, Southern Suburbs Hockey Club, the Emmaus College community, Aspire Diesel Repairs, and the amazing efforts of family and friends I wouldn't be able to fulfil this dream,” she said.
"With the assistance and support of some amazing individuals, an ordinary person like myself will have the opportunity to achieve extraordinary things.”