Konica Minolta Queensland Fire captain Jodie Fields has launched a personal scholarship scheme to assist promising young female cricketers around the state with their development.
Fields, the former Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars captain, today announced the inaugural recipient of the Jodie Fields Young Cricketer Development Scholarship was 12-year-old Charli Knott from Mackay.
Knott was among 30 promising cricketers from around the state who attended the Queensland Cricket Emerging Girls talent ID camp at QCHQ at Albion last week.
The players trained alongside Fields, Queensland and Australia Indoor captain Jude Coleman, Fire coach Andy Richards and Queensland Youth coach Graham Power at the three-day camp.
Knott, an allrounder who will play club cricket with Brothers this season, has also gained exposure as part of the Mackay Hurricanes Girls Cricket club and as captain of the Queensland Primary Schools girls team.
The $2000 scholarship will be presented annually, with players invited to apply each year.
The scholarship is sponsored by Jodie Fields, Queensland Cricket, Talbot & Purves Chartered Accounts Pty Ltd in Toowoomba, Howzat Sportz and The Hollis Family Trust.
As the inaugural recipient, Knott will receive cricket equipment from Howzat Sportz, contribution towards her cricket fees and uniforms, a contribution towards her education expenses and the chance to train and prepare with the Fire squad during a round of WNCL/WT20 matches.
Fields, who learned the game as a schoolgirl in her home town of Toowoomba, said she had created the scholarship to directly contribute to the growth of the game.
“Cricket has provided me with many opportunities through education, sport, leadership and friendships and this is a way I can give something back to the sport that has given me so much,” she said.
“Cricket provides girls an opportunity to develop all-round life skills, cricket and athletic skills, and qualities around resilience and humility.
“If I can help a young girl with their education and their development as a player, then I feel that is a positive step forward for women's cricket in Queensland,” she said.
“I’m proud to announce Charli as the inaugural recipient. She displays the sort of qualities Queensland Cricket and I would like to see developed in our young players. She’s a hard worker, is doing well at school and is a genuine lover of the game.”
Knott was thrilled that her initial involvement as an Emerging Player had been boosted with the scholarship.
“I was really surprised when Jodie came over to talk with me after our training session,” she said.
“I am thrilled to be the first girl to receive this scholarship. Jodie is a legend and one of my favourite players.
“It’s my goal to one day play for the Queensland Fire and the Southern Stars like she has done.”
The Fire, the defending WT20 champions, will begin their season on Friday October 10 against the Western Fury in Perth.
Their first home games will be against NSW from October 24-26 at Allan Border Field.