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You could hardly blame Jacky Hudson for scarcely believing that she is a world champion in the sporting arena considering that she was never the athletic type in her junior days (writes Val Febbo, Bowls Australia).

The Right at Home Para Jackaroo admits that she was the last person picked when school sport classes commenced, but the tables well and truly turned on the Gold Coast as she stepped to the top step of the World Bowls Championships podium with a gold medal draped around her neck.

Hudson, along with her husband and director Rob, teamed up with Jake Fehlberg and his director Cody to defeat South Africa’s May Homer and Herman Scholtz after one of the more epic finals to seal the first ever para gold in the tournament’s history.https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/the-right-line/embed/episodes/The-Right-Line—Episode-70-e29khsh/a-aacrni5

Speaking on Bowls Australia’s (BA) ‘The Right Line’ podcast, the Fingal Bay product only picked up the sport after moving to the area in retirement but has not looked back since.

“I’d never really played sport at all apart from what was compulsory at boarding school, and I was usually the last one to get picked on a team,” Hudson said.

“When we retired and moved up to Fingal Bay, I went to a Christmas lunch with the men’s and women’s bowlers here and the coach at the time asked if I would like to learn how to play.

“I was a bit surprised because I can’t see past the end of my nose but she insisted that it was no issue and to come and give it a go, and I’m always up for a challenge.

“Off I went and it was a way for me to meet new people and make new friends, plus we only live about five houses down so I can walk to bowls and take myself without having to rely on anybody.

“It was for fun to start with but I love the friendship and the fact that I was accepted by everybody.”

While the title of World Champion is still sinking in, one thing that the 72-year-old is still grasping with is her newfound notoriety across her suburb, with people coming from all directions to congratulate her on her title.

“It’s still all sinking in and being a World Champion still sounds a little bit surreal and I never thought that would be said about me for anything, but it still feels pretty darn good,” she said.

“It was a lot bigger deal than what I was expecting and I’m still getting really surprised because since I’ve been home when people walk past and congratulate me, I still initially wonder what for.

“Even on our daily walk this morning, we passed one of our neighbours down near the beach and she came running over and congratulated me so that still surprises me.

“But it’s all slowly sinking in and now it’s about getting back to normal and daily life again.”

The husband and wife combination on the green is a rare one in a major international tournament, and the Hudsons seem to be the perfect blend having been married for more than four decades.

“Rob and I have been married for over 40 years and I guess it’s just like at home, you have your ups and downs from time to time.

“If you can imagine being told by your husband what to do, what you’ve done wrong and what you’ve done right all day it can get a little testy at times,” Hudson joked.

“We had a lot team discussions with Claire Turley about how we actually communicated on the green because the information that you receive from the director is very important, as is how it is delivered.

“Rob is a patient man but not always tolerant, whereas I am tolerant but not very patient which seems to work out well.”

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