Badminton ace Cathy Bargh has received a surprise call-up to play doubles for her country.
The Sedlescombe-based player will team up with Kay Vickers in the over-50 women’s doubles for England against Scotland at the McCoig Trophy next Friday (January 17).
National doubles champions Viv Gillard and Sue Crompton were due to represent England at the Inverclyde National Sports Training Centre in Largs, but Crompton is unable to compete so runners-up Bargh and Vickers have been asked by Badminton England to take their place.
As national champion in her age group, Bargh was scheduled to play in the over-50 singles, but the hosts are unable to field an opponent.
“I’m pleased for Kay because she’s never officially been given a cap in the McCoig,” said Bargh, who had already booked her flights to the west coast of Scotland. “It just shows how important it is that you enter all the top ranking tournaments because there’s a very strict criteria for it.”
Bargh, a professional badminton coach at Freedom Leisure Summerfields, has previously made a number of singles appearances, but this will be her first doubles outing.
Immediately after the McCoig Trophy - an annual fixture between the top veteran players from north and south of the border - Bargh will play in the Scottish Open, an event in which she has won singles and doubles titles in the past.
And before flying north next Thursday, Bargh will get some useful match practice under her belt at an inter-county masters tournament in Bournemourth this weekend.