Damascus College Year 9 student Lillee Barendsen is counting down the days until she represents Victoria in the Under 15’s Female National Cricket Championships held in Canberra at the end of this month.
Lillee started playing cricket at the tender age of nine when she was encouraged to give the sport a go by a friend. Since that day, she hasn’t looked back, and started playing competition cricket with the U12’s VRI Delacombe boys’ team.
Lillee said she was the only female in the team at the time, but she loved the opportunity to play with her mates and learn from the boys, as female cricket was still developing at the time.
“I am passionate about cricket and love that it is a team sport. I enjoy getting to know so many different people where I make new friends, from different walks of life,” she said.
Lillee now plays for the Ballarat Women’s Cricket Club senior team and has represented Central Highlands in the Youth Premier League State Championship tournament for the past 4 years, in the Under 14’s and 17’s age groups.
“Being a part of the Youth Premier League gave me the further opportunity to be invited to try out for the U15 Victorian squad, for which I am forever grateful.”
“I will soon participate in the National Championships in Canberra from 26th February to 3rd March, and I am really looking forward to it. I haven’t travelled outside of Victoria, so am excited to see another state of Australia.”
Lillee has been travelling to Melbourne for selection trials and training sessions on a regular basis, with the Victorian squad since mid-last year, and is both excited and overwhelmed that all of her hard work is paying off, as she has been wanting to progress to the next level in female cricket.
Lillee’s sporting skill extends beyond cricket, as she also plays AFL and has done so since age six. She currently plays for East Point Dragons Under 15’s female team, and prior to that played for the East Point Bulldogs male teams. Last year Lillee played in the Youth Girls Interleague Competition representing AFL Goldfields where she played against AFL Central Victoria.
“One day I would love to play both cricket and AFL professionally. I dream of donning the baggy green cap to represent my country in cricket, playing in the Women’s Big Bash, and would also one day love to play in the AFLW. Go Cats.”
After school Lillee hopes to pursue a career in the sporting industry, either as a physiotherapist or personal trainer, as sport is her real passion.
Lillee Barendsenk, Damascus College year 9 student
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