Port Macquarie lawn bowler Natasha Van Eldik has punched her ticket to a fourth Commonwealth Games.
Van Eldik has called Port Macquarie home for the last two years after she made the move from Raymond Terrace.
She will be one of the more experienced members of the 18-person Australian Jackaroos team that will travel to the UK in July.
The two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist is looking forward to the trip abroad.
"It's surreal," Van Eldik said of her selection. "You put so much effort into preparation for four years, it's a relief when your name is read out and you can celebrate with family and friends. But then you know the hard work starts."
The 31 year old athlete, who has made more than 330 international appearances for Australia, claimed her first gold medal at the 2018 Gold Coast Games in the women's fours alongside Kelsey Cottrell, Carla Krizanic and Rebecca Van Asch.
Van Eldik, originally from Raymond Terrace but who has called Port Macquarie home for the past two years, is hopeful of a repeat performance in Birmingham where she will once again compete in the women's triples and fours.
Only Van Asch, 34, from Tasmania, will return with Van Eldik to defend their Commonwealth Games gold medal wins.
In the fours at the 2022 Games Van Eldik and Van Asch will bowl with Queenslander Lyndsay Clarke, 38, and Kristina Krstic, 27, from Western Australia. Birmingham will be Clarke's fourth Games while Krstic is making her debut.
In the women's triples, Van Eldik is teamed up with Van Asch and Clarke.
"Lydney and I have played a little bit together over the years," Van Eldik said. "Kristina has been around the Australian team for eight or nine years now but has never cracked the cut. I've played a little bit with her but not at an international level."
Despite this, Van Eldik is confident in the experience of the women's team.
"No matter where we play, Australia walks around with a target on our backs," she said. "Being the defending champions as well, the target gets bigger.
"All five of us are very confident in our ability to perform. If we do happen to perform all at the same time, there is no country that can stop us.
"There's definitely an expectation that we'll do well over there but all players are very realistic that Australia has never won a gold medal in the Northern Hemisphere in bowls.
"We're very driven to put that to bed. It doesn't matter if it's gold but we have our goals to at least medal over there."
Van Eldik was selected for the Jackaroos team following solid performances at a series of camps held the last 12 months, including a four week tour of the United Kingdom and events staged at Mount Tamborine in Queensland where a green like what bowlers will been competing on in Birmingham has been replicated.
The Jackaroos team was announced at the Trans Tasman Test Series at Mount Tamborine on June 3. Australia won the test series against New Zealand by a landslide.
From the Trans Tasman Test, Van Eldik and many of the Jackaroos team went into the Australian Open on the Gold Coast on June 11.
Van Eldik, who became the first woman to win three singles titles at the Open in 2021, is on the hunt for a fourth singles title.
The Australian Open will wrap up on June 24, two weeks before the Jackaroos fly out to the UK on July 10.
Once in the UK, the Jackaroos will play a series of games against counties, clubs and countries in the lead up to the start of the Commonwealth Games on July 28.
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