A Gainsborough darts player will grace the finest stage in the world next year, after qualifying for the Lakeside World Professionals finals.
Paula Jacklin may be 57, but she’s in the best form of her life.
And her performances this season, both at home and abroad, have booked a place at the BBC-televised Lakeside Country Club in Surrey next January.
A big character on the local and county scene, Jacklin is understandably over the moon with the news.
“I have achieved everything I ever wanted to in darts,” she said.
“I’ve represented my country, captained Lincolnshire out from Division Two up to the Premier and now I have qualified for the biggest world event, along with only 15 of the world’s best ladies.”
The world’s number 12 ranked player was playing in the British Open at Bridlington when her place in the World finals was confirmed.
Her hard work is being rewarded in the latter stages of this year, and early next year, and Jacklin doesn’t seem to be slowing down as she gets older.
“I have worked so hard this season and all the travelling to tournaments all over the world has paid off,” she told the Standard.
“I have also qualified for the Winmau World Masters Championships in October, and the finals of the World Trophy along with 15 more of the world’s top ladies in February.”
“I just seem to be getting better with age.”
Jacklin is England’s number five ranked player, and the first Lincolnshire representative to reach the Lakeside World Professionals finals.
But she isn’t the last.
Her county team-mate Sam Hewson, at just 21 years of age, has also booked a place in the prestigious tournament, having travelled far and wide with Jacklin this season to earn ranking points.
He said: “It’s a dream come true to play at Lakeside and the icing on the cake is to do it with my friend and travelling partner Paula.”
“Together we’ve put Lincolnshire firmly on the map, I am proud of both of us.”
The pair can be seen in action along with the rest of the county darts Team as Lincolnshire take on the mighty Yorkshire at the Blues Club on Saturday and Sunday.