10th September 2021 — A female cricketer at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools clinched a gold medal in the School Games National Finals at Loughborough University.
Sophia Smale was among only 39 under-18 female cricketers involved in the tournament and she was picked after impressing for Western Storm’s Academy in a festival at Shrewsbury.
The 16-year-old represented Team Sciver in the T20 cricket competition and her side secured first place after three wins and one defeat from four matches.
A fellow pupil at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools, Henry Evans, represented Wales in the 1500m steeplechase and achieved his personal-best time.
Sophia, an all-rounder, who bowls left-arm spin, said: “I competed in the School Games National Finals in 2019 and it was brilliant to be competing at that level again.
“It was a great experience to be part of the winning team and I had a very good season overall, scoring more than 350 runs for Western Storm’s Academy and bowing well too, taking four wickets in one match.”
Sophia captains Wales Under-18s and plays for the Wales women’s senior team.
She is studying A levels in Monmouth Schools Sixth Form and will also be working towards her dream of becoming a professional women’s cricketer.
“There is an under-19s World Cup in Bangladesh in 2023 and my aim is to be a part of the England squad for that,” said Sophia, who is inspired by England women’s captain Heather Knight and leading spinner Sophie Ecclestone.
It was an exciting summer for Sophia, who became the first female cricketer in history to play a competitive match for Monmouth School for Boys’ first team.
Meanwhile, Henry Evans, from Year 11, ran a superb race in the steeplechase, smashing his personal best by 12 seconds in a time of 4.38, to finish a highly respectable fourth.
Henry is now ranked fifth in UK at under-17 level for the 1500m steeplechase.
Earlier this summer, Henry sealed his place in the Welsh Schools' team for the 1500m steeplechase.
He stormed to victory in the Welsh Schools Athletic Association SIAB (Schools International Athletic Board) trials.
Henry often runs around the streets of Monmouth with his dad, Dr Huw Evans, an experienced athlete, and his dedication and commitment to the sport is paying off.
Henry is a member of Newport Harriers and will be representing Welsh Schools in The SIAB Track & Field, hosted by English Schools, at Moreton Stadium in Derby on Saturday 25th September.