A young Coventry cricketer is set to receive elite training after being called up to the England Women’s Cricket training squad.
Ria Fackrell, 19, who is in the final year of her BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport Studies at Coventry College, is now learning alongside the best young female cricketers in the country, having worked her way through the ranks since she was seven-years-old.
Ria, who is primarily a batter, was introduced to the sport through her neighbours as a child, learning the ropes in the back garden, before joining local teams and eventually progressing to play for Warwickshire county.
She then impressed at last year’s School Games, which brings young athletes from across the country together, where she was spotted by scouts for the England Women’s Cricket training squad based at Loughborough University.
The young cricketer has her sights set on securing a professional contract this year and will receive elite level training twice a month through the academy to help her achieve this.
She said: “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.
“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.”
Ria will benefit as she nears the end of her studies at Coventry College from the college’s recently acquired Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme accreditation, which helps future athletes in education to balance their sporting and academic careers without having to choose between the two, supporting over 600 pupils across the country.
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.”