Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Cricket Ireland: “I want to be the most successful player that’s ever played for Ireland”

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Photo Credit: Cricket Ireland

You can never be too young to be passionate about doing something you love, and you should never think it is too early to begin to follow your dreams. Few people would know this better than Gaby Lewis, the vice-captain of Ireland Women’s cricket team.

Gaby tells us:

“I made my debut for Ireland at the age of 13. I have represented Ireland ever since, and I have absolutely loved it.

“Sport was a massive part of my family life growing up. We spent our lives down at the YMCA cricket club with my mum, my dad, and my sister, and that is why I’m into the sport. Summers are made for cricket, and that is where we spent our time. We took our family holidays at Christmas.

“I represented Leinster and Ireland when I was younger, in under age, and then I got my first cap when I was 13. So I was kind of fast-forwarded straight through to the senior squad, which was great, but it obviously came with a lot of sacrifices as a young girl. That being said, I absolutely loved it at the time.

“When I first came in, there was obviously a huge range of ages. There were girls who were in their late 20s, and they were brilliant at welcoming me in, I never felt out of place at all.”

Certa, the largest fuel supplier in Ireland, is helping to raise the profile of women’s cricket as the title sponsor for the Ireland Women’s cricket team and to build support for the team as it competes to qualify for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh later this year.

Certa’s is also providing valuable support to Cricket Ireland as it works to develop women’s circket as a major sport in Ireland, and to develop Ireland into a major nation in world cricket.

GETTING THE SUPPORT

To that end, Gaby talks about her personal experience with pathways that are also in place to support players:

“I’m in my final year at Radiography at the University College Dublin. I always knew that I needed to get a degree. The retirement age in international women’s cricket is quite young, so I need to have something to go into after. I think radiography is a great course. It is obviously very demanding, but I think it is something that I have loved, and once I stay on top of things, it’s manageable.

“The Ad Astra sports sponsorship in UCD is absolutely brilliant. If I do need to move an exam or if we’re on tour, that is not as problem, as long as they know that you will be organised and be diligent and get it done on time.

“And obviously, then there is the S&C [Strength and Conditioning], the nutritionist and everything around it that comes with it. The scholarship has massively helped me, and I hope that young girls reading this will know that there is a pathway to do the two of them at the same time.”

LEADING BY EXAMPLE

On top of helping maintain physical and mental health, being a part of a team sport also helps to expand on an important set of skills that you’ll find yourself using in day-to-day life.

As Gaby tells us:

“Cricket has given me many life skills. Coming into the senior squad so young, and you’re kind of forced to speak up, be organised, and be efficient at timekeeping and things like that.

“I’m a very ambitious person, I always strive to be the best that I can be and I’m quite a perfectionist. So I think I’ll never settle for what I have and I think I always want to continue to get better and that’s what I want to do for Ireland.

“I want to be the most successful player that’s ever played for Ireland, not just on the field, off the field as well. I want to lead by example and be the most successful player that’s ever played.”

Certa’s ambition is to empower the team to continue pushing new boundaries and to perform competitively against the top nations in women’s cricket. They are also working with Cricket Ireland to help the sport thrive from grassroots to elite level and to inspire young players to follow their dream of becoming professional cricket players in Ireland.

Certa, part of the DCC plc, operates Ireland’s largest network of unmanned, pay@pump forecourts and home heating oil depots.

See certaireland.ie for more information.

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