A COVENTRY cricketer is targeting going professional after being called up to the England Women’s Cricket training squad.
Ria Fackrell is set to head into the squad alongside some of the best young female cricketing talent in the country after being spotted by scouts at last year’s School Games.
The 19-year old, who is currently studying in the final year of her BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Studies at Coventry College, could only speak of her pride at being recognised by her country.
“It is an honour for me to get a call-up to the England Women’s Cricket training squad, it gives me real confidence in my ability and I am excited to learn more about the sport.
“I started in the back garden with my neighbours and have just progressed through the levels since then, but this feels like a major step.
She also praised her college for affording her the opportunity and is hopeful of the prospects for women’s cricket going forward.
“My time at Coventry College has been very helpful for me in terms of opening up opportunities and the support I receive from my tutors is very helpful too.
“The women’s game is opening up and there are more opportunities being made available all the time, so it is a perfect time for me to really focus on getting a contract to play professionally.”
Fackrell, primarily a batter, has progressed since taking up the sport at seven-years old, going on to play for Warwickshire county, and will now receive elite level training in the England camp twice a month.
Her college continues to support the young prospect through its accreditation to the nationwide Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, which offers athletes in education an opportunity to balance both their sporting and academic careers.
Alysia Bastock, Teaching Coach and Lecturer of Sport at Coventry College, said: “I am incredibly proud of Ria’s achievement. As a college we focus on helping our athletically talented students go as far as they possibly can, while continuing to get their academic qualifications.
“On a personal level she really deserves it, a lot of our work together has been focused on the psychological side of sport and she has really improved during her time here. She has a big future ahead.”