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Special honour for Matthews

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Special honour for Matthews

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Going to school, Hayley Matthews couldn’t wait to “grow up” to play cricket for the West Indies.

Turns out she didn’t have to wait as long as she expected.

Matthews, a student at Harrison College, became one of the youngest women to ever represent the regional side when she represented the West Indies women in the third and final Twenty20 International against New Zealand at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex, St Vincent on Saturday.

And yesterday, her former primary school, People’s Cathedral – where Matthews, now 16, first showcased her talents – honoured her with a presentation at the school’s Collymore Rock grounds.

Principal of the school, Kenroy Burke, told the students who had gathered in the hall, along with Matthews’ parents Mike and Lisa, for the special occasion, that Matthews had shown potential from the time she entered Reception.

He recalled how the former victrix ludorum loved to run and also enjoyed playing football, before turning her interest to cricket upon entering Class 4.

He said she showed great potential, even captaining the boys’ cricket team at one point. She eventually went on to make the Barbados Under-19 side at the age of ten.

“Hayley always used to say that she wanted to play cricket for Barbados and the West Indies,” Burke said.

“When I opened my newspaper and I saw that Hayley had been selected to be a member of the West Indies’ cricket team, it was really, really a joy to be able to see one of our own.”

In her short address, Matthews, a silver medalist at this year’s CARIFTA Games, told the excited students she had always wanted to play cricket at the highest level and had worked hard towards that goal.

She encouraged them to stay focused and strive for their goals.

“Everybody is good at something. You just have to find out what it is and work towards that goal until you achieve it,” Matthews told them. (RB)