By Jake Beleski
Lethal combination on the field, and great friends off it.
That is the relationship between two of Wairarapa’s impressive young women cricketers, Kate Sims and Olivia Roseingrave.
The two students shared the new ball at this month’s Central Districts regional tournament in Whanganui, and helped their U-18 Wairarapa team win the Twenty20 title.
For Kate, a Year 11 at St Matthew’s Collegiate, and Olivia, a Year 12 at Wairarapa College, it was an exciting achievement.
“It [T20 final] was a really close game, and a really good one,” Kate said.
“We came fourth in the 40-over competition as well — it was a good week.”
Both players left their mark on the tournament, with Kate picking up seven wickets and Olivia claiming 11, including a five-wicket haul.
It was through their mutual love of cricket that they first met, after both had taken it up at a young age.
“I started playing when I was about 9,” Kate said.
“At my primary school all the boys played cricket which sort of got us into it, and then it carried on to St Matt’s and then reps as well.”
For Olivia, she had decided to give the sport a go as a keen 6-year-old.
“I think dad (Wairarapa Korus’ coach Simon Roseingrave) got me into playing when he was getting Red Star Cricket up and running.
“He coached me at Lansdowne first, and then we played for Red Star.”
The girls’ successes eventually led to a callup to the Korus squad, and Olivia said they had embraced the challenge of playing with and against some of the country’s top female players.
“It’s a lot harder and a big step up from age grade teams because you’re facing a lot of Central Hinds players.”
One of the major positives was being able to learn from local players including Korus’ captain and former Hinds player Esther Lanser, Kate said.
“It’s not too bad because you get support from the older girls in the team.
“They kind of help you out and tell you what to do — they know what they’re doing so it’s great.”
For Kate, cricket was just one of many sports she enjoyed participating in.
“I swim competitively and also play netball, cross country and athletics.”
Olivia had been forced to focus solely on cricket in recent years due to injury concerns.
“I don’t really play any other sports apart from cricket,” she said.
“I played soccer and netball but I had injuries that stopped me from playing, and I did try hockey but I didn’t like it.”
Both players had clear goals for their cricketing futures.
For Kate, the aim was to make CD U-21s and then see where that takes her, while Olivia was aiming to make the CD U-18s next year.
There was no hesitation when asked who their favourite Black Cap was, with both producing the same answer, and a fitting one at that.
“Definitely Tim Southee,” was the unanimous verdict from both players.
The way they are going, it may not be too long before they are emulating Southee’s feats with the new ball, at the top levels of women’s cricket.