To say that Pacific Hills Christian School student Dani Chivers likes cricket is a huge understatement. Since discovering the sport at the age of six she has enthusiastically thrown herself into it and her years of dedication have been recognised at a national level. Cricket Australia has named Dani the recipient of their prestigious Young Community Leader of the Year Award. This is on top of Cricket NSW presenting her with their Young Community Leader of the Year Award.
Such is her love for cricket that Dani has ventured from batting and bowling to captaining sides to coaching. She likes to bowl. Fast. Her personal best is five wickets for 18 runs against a boy’s rep team. Her best ‘knock with the bat’ is 31 not out.
At the age of 14 Dani was already captaining an U18 women’s grade team in which she was the youngest player. From that age she has also captained a rep side, and she has led boy’s teams at state carnivals in which she is the only female.
Dani progressed to rep cricket and is now playing in women’s grade cricket. She is in second grade and is targeting a spot in the first-grade competition. Dani trains twice a week with adult players from the WBBL and when you add up her playing and coaching activities she is using a bat or ball six days a week.
“I’ve never been bored with it, there is always something new to learn.”
Dani’s coaching career started when she was in Year 3 at Primary School. Her father was running clinics at a primary school during the holidays and Dani decided to help out with the Kindy kids. From then through to now she is busy during her holiday breaks coaching at five local schools. Three years ago, Milo Cricket needed a coach for their Saturday program and Dani’s name was put forward. She was selected and added that to her list of weekly responsibilities. The Hornsby Kuringai District Cricket Association invited Dani to become a part of their coaching clinics team and they responded to her enthusiastic input by presenting her with their Rookie Coach of the Year Award.
Friday nights, before youth group, are occupied with Blowfly Cricket. This is a program for children with special needs.
“I find it rewarding to see them having so much fun, and we’re giving the carers a break.”
“I fell in love with cricket from the start. I love the team spirit. You have to have a good relationship with your team mates every weekend. When you’re involved in the game you have to be concentrating on every ball. You can’t switch off, you’re always changing something – moving a fielder, changing a bowler. My dream is to play for Australia.”