Written by Shaun Ryan

HERVEY BAY cricket sensation Grace Collins is looking forward to the challenge of taking guard against some of the county’s top bowlers as she records another giant leap in her sporting career.

At just 13-years-old, Grace has been selected to play First-Grade cricket for the Sunshine Coast Scorchers in this season’s Katherine Raymont Shield.

“It feels great to have been selected and will be a really cool experience,” Grace said.

Despite being much younger and less experienced than most of her teammates and opponents, the Xavier Catholic College student said she was up to the challenge.

“It will be awesome to play against some of the professional players. It’s going to be tough but I just want to learn as much as I can,” she said.

Unfortunately, Grace’s debut match against Valley District Cricket Club in Buderim was washed out on Sunday, September 13. The middle order batter did not shy away from discussing her personal cricketing ambitions.

“I would love to play for the Brisbane Heat and Australia one day.” Grace said she took inspiration from the fact that current Australian player and Women’s T20 World Cup gold medal winner Beth Mooney also attended Xavier.

“It shows that players from Hervey Bay can achieve at the highest level,” she explained.

The Grade 8 student said she often talks to Mooney’s former teachers about her and what she was like at school. But it’s not all about scoring runs in the middle for Grace at the moment.

The teenager trains several times a week, all while balancing school responsibilities and homework.

“It means I’m always busy but I find a way to get it done.” She said her dad, Steve was the biggest influence in her cricketing career to date and her mother and sister were among her proudest supporters.