Bowled over with Sophie’s success at cricket
Sophie White, in Year 7, is really looking forward to the summer – it’s the time of year when she comes into her own with the start of the cricket season. And this year, she is playing for several teams at Richmondshire Cricket Club as well as being selected to play for Durham County Girls’ Under 13 Cricket Squad. This is fantastic news for Sophie who is mad about cricket is also a great sporting all-rounder, and also in the school’s hockey, football and netball teams, and dances too!
We are pleased to share a Q and A with Sophie where we find out more about her love of cricket, her training regime and why sport is so important to her.
- When did you first become interested in cricket?
A while ago. For as long as I can remember, we have had cricket bats and balls. When I was very young we used plastic equipment and then when I was in Year 4 and started to play for Richmondshire Cricket Club’s Under 9st team, I got my first hardball kit.
- What triggered your interest?
My family and I have always enjoyed playing cricket in the garden and I remember taking stumps, a bat, and a ball on holiday to play on the beach. My brother also loves cricket and as he started to go to training I went along too. As soon as I was able to I joined in.
- When did you start to play and for which club?
Every Friday night, from about 7 years old I would go with Joseph down to Richmondshire Cricket Club for his training. Then when I was in Year 4, I started playing myself. We started with an incredi-ball, so it wasn’t as hard (we didn’t need all the pads, helmet, etc) but soon I was confident enough to move on to hardball. We practiced wearing pads and helmets as soon as we could so that we were comfortable wearing them.
- Which teams do you currently play for?
Since I started to play cricket, Richmondshire has developed and I play for several teams in Richmondshire. The U13s, U12s (mixed), the U15 and U13 girls, and when there is time I also enjoy playing for the ladies’ section. This year, I have been lucky to be selected to play for Durham County Cricket Club U13s team as well as representing them last year in the U11s.
- Tell us a little bit about how you were selected for the U13 Durham County Girls’ Cricket Squad
My first introduction to DCCC was last year, during the Easter holidays, when I was able to attend a couple of selection events – this was a bit different from normal due to Covid. At the end of these, I was invited to join the U11 squad. Since then I have been regularly attending training sessions with them, these ran throughout the Autumn term and included some specialised batting sessions. Then, all eligible girls attended a number of training sessions and in January, we were asked to attend a number of sessions from which a squad was selected.
- How often do you train with them?
Over the Autumn and Spring terms, we have been training most weeks for a couple of hours. Now we are moving into the Summer term and the cricket season the training drops to fortnightly but also includes additional games, which I am looking forward to.
- Do you have an ambition to continue to play cricket to a high level?
Yes! Having watched the ladies play in the Hundred Tournament last year, I was inspired to continue to play and aspire to reach as high a level as possible. From Durham, there could be the opportunity of playing for the Northern Diamonds (a combination of Durham, Yorkshire, and Northumberland ladies). Richmondshire recently hosted a match/training session for them and I was thrilled to be able to go and watch, as well as join in with a quick game with the academy squad at the end.
- Do you play any other sports
Generally, I love any sort of sport! I am always busy and have regular commitments to fitness, dance, netball, hockey, and football. Since starting Richmond School, I have joined in the school netball, hockey, cricket, and football training and have represented the school in a number of these sports already. Also, I really enjoyed supporting the recent Primary School Cricket Competition, as a junior umpire/scorer.
- Why is cricket so important to you?
There are a number of reasons that I love cricket. As a family it is a shared interest and it’s great that we can all enjoy playing and spectating together. For me, it’s been a super way to meet lots of great people that have similar interests. It has helped me develop social skills, and physical fitness and is a mental challenge – there’s always lots to think about in a game of cricket! Also, we get to travel around the country and see lots of wonderful places!