Malvern College has named Birchfield pupil, Grace Seedhouse, as the inaugural recipient of the prestigious Rachael Heyhoe Flint Cricket Award, set up in memory of the pioneering cricket star, who died in January last year.
Grace was selected from dozens of talented young cricketers who attended highly competitive trials a couple of weeks ago at Malvern College. This is the first dedicated girls’ cricket scholarship offered by any school and will be made annually.
According to one of the selectors, ‘Grace really stood out... She has beautiful timing and is calm under pressure. She has a fierce desire to learn and improve, which often makes the difference between a good player and a great one.’
In addition, Grace has also been awarded a Netball Scholarship by Malvern College. Grace currently plays cricket at Worfield Cricket Club and plays alongside the boys in Birchfield’s 1st XI. Grace captained the Birchfield Girls’ Cricket team to become IAPS Midlands Champions, beating strong opposition on their way to the title. She also participates in the Shropshire County Cricket pathway that identifies promising talent in the sport.
Lady Heyhoe Flint captained the successful England women’s side from 1966 to 1978 and was the first female cricketer to hit a six in a Test match. Her son, Ben Flint, a former pupil at Birchfield School and Malvern College, helped to launch the awards which are being partly funded by donations made after his mother’s death.
“Mum would have been delighted that these awards are being set up in her name,” he said, “and I think she’d be especially pleased that Grace, the inaugural scholar is such a gifted young player.”
Grace is thrilled at the esteemed award offered to her and hopes that “it will give me the chance to try to fulfil my dream of playing cricket for England. Rachael Heyhoe Flint set the standard as one of the greatest female cricketers of all time and I really hope I can live up to her example.” “We are immensely proud of Grace and her outstanding achievements and congratulate her on being the first ever recipient of this new award”, said Mrs Sarah Morris, Headmistress, on hearing about Grace’s success.