Cannonvale cricket star shines down south
KEYRA Smith has proved she is a force to be reckoned with on the cricket pitch, holding her own against national players as well as teaching the boys she plays alongside a thing or two about a fast bowl.
This week was no exception as Keyra travelled to Tasmania to play in the Cricket Australia Under 18 Female National Championships.
The Cannonvale local joined six other Queenslanders in the Northern Territory team in a bid to ensure every state and territory was represented in the competition.
While Keyra was yet to win a game with the NT side, she said the calibre of competition had fuelled her competitive spirit further.
"I wanted to come to the competition to see where I was at compared to the other girls and what I can do to get better," she said.
"There's definitely areas I can improve on, but personally I don't think I'm too far away (from the top players).
"Our team didn't have any training sessions together either so that was hard.
"But I've learnt a lot of things from this competition that I can bring back with me."
Keyra started her cricket career when she was nine after tagging along to a Milo cricket session with a family friend's son.
Since then, she has grown used to playing alongside boys when numbers to form a female side in the region fell short.
The Proserpine State School student hoped that she could encourage younger girls to take up cricket and prove that anyone could "give it a go".
"I feel like in the Whitsundays cricket isn't advertised enough and if we can try to get younger girls playing in milo cricket, they can keep playing right through to Under 16s," she said.
"Whether they like it or not at least they've tried it."
Keyra prefers to be bowling rather than batting and has finessed her spin in both the Mackay league and first grade cricket in Brisbane.
Her league in Brisbane includes many state and national players which Keyra said was intimidating but took her a step closer to reaching her sporting aspirations.
"I train every day after school and on the weekends I'm either playing cricket or training," she said.
"My main goal is to play for Australia but playing for Brisbane Fire and Brisbane Heat would be great as well."