A Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy student has returned from New Zealand after being selected to play for the England indoor junior cricket team.
Oliver Jasper, 15, went to Christchurch to compete in the World Indoor Cricket Federation 2018 Junior World Series for the 15 and Under Boys’ team.
Oliver said he was excited to have been selected after progressing through the final trials.
He said: “I was playing for England U15s in New Zealand and there were eight matches. We played twice against two teams from New Zealand, one from Australia and one from South Africa.
“Indoor cricket is completely different to outdoor cricket, it’s really intense and can be quite dangerous. It’s very team based and you have to concentrate all of the time. The other teams in the competition were more experienced than us and were very well drilled.
“The travelling was a great experience because I’ve never been outside Europe before or been away for that long without my parents. It was great to meet new people and make new friends and to meet people from other countries. The whole experience was amazing and it felt great to represent my country; it’s not often something like that will happen.”
Oliver started playing Kwik Cricket when he was nine before moving on to play indoor cricket.
He is now focusing on preparing for his GCSEs but is hoping to take part in more international indoor cricket competitions in the future.
Joan McCarthy, headteacher at Saint John Houghton CVA, in Kirk Hallam, said everyone at school was extremely proud of Oliver.
She said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for Oliver, to represent his country at an international event. He clearly enjoyed the experience and we are sure that he will go on to even greater success in the future.”