She may only be in Year 7, but Arden Anglican School student, Olivia Maxwell, has a passion for Cricket! Olivia dreams of being able to play for Australia one day. “I think the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) would be fun to play in because you get to travel around Australia with your team mates doing what you love,” said Olivia.
Olivia started playing when she was eight years old in the Under 9s team for her local club. Her family shares a love for Cricket, with father Neil Maxwell, having played for NSW, Victoria and Australia A. Olivia explained: “I have loved Cricket for as long as I can remember! It started in the backyard watching my brother and dad playing Cricket. I wanted to be a part of it. I’ve been surrounded by Cricket my whole life.”
Olivia first represented the Combined Independent Schools (CIS) Primary Girls Cricket Team at the NSW PSSA Championships in Windsor (2016). 2017 was a huge year for Olivia who represented the CIS Primary Girls Cricket Team at the NSW Primary Schools Sports Association (PSSA) Championships in Maitland and was Co-Captain of the team. She was also selected in the Cricket NSW Under 13s Metropolitan Academy 2017.
More recent achievements have included being selected in the NSW PSSA Team to compete at The Australian Championships in Barooga in January, 2018. Then on 16th February Olivia was awarded a CIS Red at the CIS Awards Dinner. This award is for an individual Primary School student who has represented at the highest level in their chosen sport and is a great honour.
Mrs Jenny Lee, Arden’s Head of Secondary Sport, commented: “Olivia is a very talented athlete in a number of sports. She is very competitive, but is humble in her achievements and shows amazing sportsmanship. She is a great role model for Arden Anglican School students in her commitment, character and resilience.”
Both Olivia and her parents commented that her school has been supportive of her Cricket. Neil and Rachel Maxwell shared: “Arden has encouraged Olivia to pursue her goals and has provided her with the opportunity to trial for representative teams, allowing her to play for New South Wales. Olivia’s teachers have always shown interest in her cricket pursuits.” Olivia added: “Miss Williams was my Year 6 Teacher and Arden Hockey Coach. She loves Cricket and is always interested in how I’m going. It’s been really nice having her support. Knowing Miss Williams also taught Alyssa Healy at Arden has been pretty special. Even though Arden is a small school it showed me that it’s possible to make it all the way to the highest level of my sport. Mrs Lee has been great too.”
When asked what she enjoys about Cricket, Olivia shared: “I enjoy being a part of a team. Cricket tests you mentally and physically. I really enjoy that it takes a long time to play. You’ve got time to build an innings or work out how you’re going to get a batter out. Batting, bowling and fielding are all fun.” Olivia felt that making so many Cricket friends and playing in lots of different places has also been enjoyable.
When asked about what skills she believes Cricket teaches you, Olivia shared: “Firstly, not to give up – I’ve been in games when you might think the game is lost but it can change so quickly. Secondly, to concentrate for long periods. Thirdly, to play as a team and to encourage others. Finally, to accept the umpire’s decision.”
When asked what she finds challenging about Cricket, Olivia shared: “The nerves. It really tests your mental strength and your ability to concentrate for a long period of time.”
Olivia describes her role on the team as “I am an all-rounder, so I bat and bowl. I like to bat at 3 or 4 and open the bowling.”
Neil Maxwell shared: “I love the fact that Olivia and Lachlan both play Cricket. It teaches them how to handle success and failure which will strengthen their resolve in later life.”