Alex sports star on rise
Alexander Road High School pupil Amber Botha’s star is on the up after she received three awards for excellence in sport at the school’s Celebration of Excellence last week.
The 15-year-old Botha scooped the awards for the best female cricket and soccer player, in addition to taking home an award for representing SA Indoor Cricket.
The multi-talented grade 9 pupil returned home from her trip with the SA team to the World Junior Indoor Cricket Championships on Monday last week.
Despite feeling some jetlag, she turned out for Alex in a schools match to score her maiden century – 108 not out, including 16 fours.
“I was a bit tired as it had been a 16-hour flight back from New Zealand and my focus was not all there. But I just tried to concentrate on building the score to something we could defend and played each ball on its merits.”
Speaking about the championships in New Zealand, where SA made it to the semifinals, Botha said playing against some of the best players in the world was a good experience because it exposed them to the high level of international competition.
“It was a great learning experience as we are used to playing only against our various provincial players, so we kind of know how they play.
“However, playing against players from around the world really tests your abilities as a player. You have to keep your focus at all times and ensure you do the basics right.”
At the tournament’s conclusion, Botha was presented with the SA Ambassador award for commitment, discipline and motivation in recognition of the part she played in rallying her team to show sportsmanship and camaraderie throughout the tournament.
“I’d say that being the youngest in the team is a bit daunting because I had to adapt my game to suit the type of play they wanted,” the Jendamark United Cricket Club member said.
She said it was a massive honour to receive her school awards as it showed that her hard work was paying off.
What makes her performances on the field even more special is that she also competes against the boys in cricket. She said she enjoyed showing the boys a thing or two on the field.
“When boys see a girl in the team, they think you can be an easy target.
“But you must always remind them how good you are and it can be quite embarrassing for them to be bowled out or hit to the boundary by a girl.”
She said the support of her family also played a major role in her success as seeing them cheering her on from the sidelines gave her confidence.