Friday Headlines

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Aspiring Journalist Polly Reports on a Sporting Summer

Sixth Form

30 September 2022

Year 12 student and aspiring sports journalist Polly has taken another valuable step towards realising her dreams. Over the summer, she was fortunate enough to work as social media manager and match day reporter for women’s professional cricket team Central Sparks, interviewing players and working with journalists and cricket experts from all over the world. Here, Polly shares her experiences about an exciting couple of months.

It’s been a summer to remember for me and I can’t wait to do it all again! Women’s sport has thrived this summer and it’s been incredible to be a part of it. It all started back in May when the cricket season started. I took up the role of Social Media Manager and Match Day reporter for the women’s regional team, Central Sparks, in the Charlotte Edwards Cup where we reached the final and then the 50-over tournament, the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Final. It was an amazing experience to be part of a team environment and get to understand the increased professionalism within the game. 

The focus then turned to the Commonwealth Games where women’s cricket was making its debut. During the games, I was involved with pre-match analysis and discussion on panels where I got to work with journalists and cricket experts from all over the world including Sri Lanka, India, New Zealand and South Africa. It was such a privilege to be involved in a home Commonwealth Games and to witness the huge crowds that the matches attracted. I also published a daily podcast episode speaking about all the matches as well as my usual weekly episode of the Noughtie Child Podcast.

If the schedule hadn’t been busy enough already, we then focused on the second edition of the Hundred. Similarly to last year, I had to opportunity to interview so many players involved and got to see some incredible talent on show. Many of the opportunities within teams require you to be 18 so unfortunately that wasn’t an option this year but I can’t wait to apply for roles in next year’s edition. 

An element to my summer which I wasn’t expecting was the opportunities I had to commentate on matches. I have always loved listening to cricket commentary and definitely wanted to do it one day but as with most things, an opportunity came when I least expected it. On the last day of term, I was celebrating with some friends and when I looked at my phone I had a missed call and a text asking if I could call back as it was urgent. I rang back and was asked if I would be able to commentate on a Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy match in Loughborough the next morning! I obviously said yes, and it has led me to commentate at some amazing cricket grounds, including Old Trafford – a ground my dad and grandad grew up visiting! 

I also joined #HerGameToo as an ambassador for Warwickshire this year, a movement originating in football and expanding to cricket this year aiming to eliminate sexism from sport and raise the profile of women’s sport – something I am very passionate about. I’ve been able to meet an amazing group of like-minded people and we have already made significant steps only 4 months in. 

My summer concluded last weekend at the ‘home of cricket’, Lords Cricket Ground. On the Saturday, I was representing #HerGameToo and We Got Game (an ECB initiative) where we got to spend the day in hospitality at Lords to watch the game, while of course working incredibly hard! It was a chaotic end to the day as you will know if you watched the game but it was such a special day to see England women play at Lords for the first time in 5 years – the last time being the 2017 World Cup Final where they beat India. Sunday was the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Final, being held at Lords for the first time. Being in the media centre at Lords was one of the highlights of the summer and somewhere I am very much looking to spend more time next summer. 

Playing has taken a slight backseat this season given how busy I have been with cricket media work. Despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed this season and had some challenging experiences playing with u18s men’s county players and a few England Lions players – even more challenging when I was the only girl! Unfortunately, I ended the season with a slight injury but I am looking forward to heading to the UAE in about a month’s time for my first overseas cricket tour. 

So what’s next? The English summer may have finished but cricket never stops and the WNCL has started in Australia with the Women’s Big Bash league commencing in a few weeks. I’ll be covering all of it on the podcast and writing about it, then England women head to the West Indies so there will be more cricket to cover – most excitingly, the inaugural U19s Women’s World Cup in January followed by the T20 Women’s World Cup a month later in South Africa and I hope to be covering that, similarly to the Commonwealth Games – unfortunately A-levels mean I can’t spend 2 months in South Africa in the winter! I have a few different projects in the pipeline and have been working with current players, former players and people in cricket media to excel the game which is really exciting to be a part of. There’s also plenty of women’s football to cover with the WSL and Women’s Champion’s League underway which is thriving off the back of the Lioness’s Euros win and so I look to do plenty of writing on that and, as with cricket, I’ll see where it takes me. 

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