A YOUNG cricket champ has set an admirable benchmark for girls after being named the youngest player in the under-15 Victorian girls team.
Sophie van de Heuvel is the only player to be selected from the Central Highlands region for the squad.
The former state under-12 girls captain has been a stand out sensation since she picked up the bat at age nine.
As an all-rounder for Golden Point in the under-14 green competition – in a team of girls that competes against the boys – van de Heuvel has already made four half-centuries.
“It’s fun meeting friends and it’s really rewarding,” she said.
The Loreto College student said last year’s grand final contenders will have to focus on the basics of the game if they hope to claim this season’s title.
“We just need to keep making runs and wickets to win every game,” she said.
Golden Point Cricket Club president and father Mark van de Heuvel said Sophie was a highly competitive sportswoman.
Sophie has her cross-hairs set on playing for Australia in the future and idolises one-time Australian cricketer Elyse Villani.
“I’ve met her before and she was inspiring,” Sophie said.
Victorian under-15 coach John Hayes is hopeful his team can go one better at the national championships – held between November 27 and December 3 in Western Sydney – after last year’s runner-up performance.
“Being runners-up last year, we now want to go one better,” Hayes said.
“We have a number of girls who bowl between the high-80s to mid-90s (kilometers), so we definitely have a pace element in our squad.”
Victorian Under-15 squad
Melina Ayres – South East Bayside Breakers
Hayleigh Brennan – Gippsland Pride
Bella Gietzmann – Inner South East Scorpions
Zoe Griffiths – Inner East Emus
Bronte James – South East Bayside Breakers
Jessica Karamoshou – North West Wizards
Annabel Martin – Mallee Murray Bulls
Sophie Van De Heuvel – Central Highlands
Tayla Vlaeminck – Northern Rivers
Georgia Wareham – Western Waves
Holly Whitford – Gippsland Pride
Claire Wilson – North East Knights
Madeleine Wright – Outer East Eagles
Sophie is this week’s The Courier Sportz Biz Junior Sports Star of the Week. He receives a $50 voucher courtesy of Sportz Biz, Ballarat. To nominate someone you know, fill in the form below.