Learner’s enthusiasm inspires others

THERE are many things which can make a parent feel proud of their child. For Mark Stevenson, it was receiving an email from a parent at another school, telling him that his 10-year-old daughter, Arabella, had inspired three seven-year-old girls who had watched his daughter play cricket.

The message was one of speechless admiration for the humility and talent that Arabella exhibited in the match. It said that her performance caught the attention of the usually apathetic young spectators and that her conduct had an impact on the parent and his family. Arabella is the only girl in Chelsea Preparatory School to play cricket and rugby.

She plays for the school’s U10A teams in both sports. The school’s Head of Sports, Faizel Cariem describes Arabella as ‘a natural leader who has the possibility of being the captain of the first cricket team at Chelsea in the future’.

Arabella herself, says that she wants to play rugby and cricket for as long as she can. However she is concerned that as the only girl playing ‘boy-sports’, she may have to stop playing at some point in the future. “The only thing that I’m a bit sad about is that a year or two from now I may have to stop playing rugby at school,” she added.

Despite her on-the-pitch achievements, Arabella says that what is most important to her is how she plays the game. “I was surprised by the email. I don’t think about what the reward is going to be at the end of the day I just think about sportsmanship and everything about the game. I was very happy and I was proud that I had learnt from others how to play the sport and how good sportsmanship also is a factor in playing the game,” she said.

Christopher Tifflin

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