For the first time ever, Donegal will be represented at a major tennis tournament - the World Over-35s Tennis Championships in Cape Town, South Africa.
That representation will come in the form of Elaine Chambers from Raphoe, a member of the Butt Hall Tennis Club in Ballybofey.
Originally’ from the Waterside in Derry City, Elaine, formerly Thompson, is now married and settled in Donegal and lives just outside Raphoe.
Elaine is a member of the four-woman Irish Over-35 team that is competing in the World Over-35s Tennis Championships which get underway next Sunday.
“I’m really looking forward to the championship,” said Elaine, who has never been capped before at international level.
“This is my first time to make an Irish team, though I have played for Ulster a number of times.”
Elaine, and her playing partner Donna McSorley, qualified for selection on the back of a number of good performances on the Irish tennis circuit. Donna is a member of the Omagh Tennis Club.
“We have been playing together for a number of years after getting to know each other from competing against each other,” Elaine said.
Due to the heavy rain in recent weeks Elaine and Donna have been forced to travel to Belfast for Indoor training at weekends.
“We have prepared well and are really looking forward to competing in the championship. The travelling to Belfast was a strain alright but due to the weather we had no choice if we wanted get in some good training.
“It is a great honour for me and for the club. It is the first time anybody from the club has been selected on an Irish team.
“They have been a great support to me since I received the news that I had been selected on the team.
“They have organised a number of fundraisers because it is up to each player to finance their own trip to the championships.”
The event is made up of doubles and singles matches. And while Elaine’s strength is at doubles she may also have to play singles.
“It will be a very high standard with a number of former tour players competing,” she said.
Elaine is married to Drew Chambers and they have two boys, Blake (8) and Corey (6).
The Irish team fly out to Cape Town, this Thursday.