Rainford cricketer Ellie Threlkeld is ending 2012 on a high note after being selected for the England Women's Development Programme at Under 15 level.
Threlkeld's ability has come to the notice of the national selectors after a season in which the Rainford High Technology College pupil captained Lancashire's Under 13 side to their second successive national championship and made her debut for the county's Under 15 team.
It is also a feather in the cap of Rainford CC where Threlkeld sampled the game at the age of seven and for whom she has played in the Boys' Under 11 and Under 13 teams.
"Ellie is a fabulous character," said Rainford chairman John Williams, who also manages the St Helens District Under 13 team in which Threlkeld plays. "She's very pleasant, she listens and she puts sound advice into practice.
"She rises to every challenge and has attracted other girls to the club. We are immensely proud of her."
Threlkeld started her cricket at Bleak Hill Primary School, where Chris Chambers, the Lancashire Cricket Board's Development Coach for St Helens ran coaching programmes.
She has now moved on to Rainford High, where she continues her cricket and receives coaching along with a number of other girls on a Sportivate programme provided by St Helens Council.
Threlkeld was nominated for county cricket through her success at district level cricket and she has also played for St Helens Senior Women’s team in the newly formed Lancashire Women's Midweek League.
Her cricket has gone from strength in 2012 and she has recently been selected for the Lancashire County Girls Skills Programme where she will receive additional one-to-one coaching.
She is a right-hand opening bat and wicketkeeper, and although she only took up keeping a year ago, she has done an excellent job behind the stumps at Under 13 and Under 15 Development levels.
“I would like to thank the Lancashire Cricket Board, in particular coaches Jenny Laycock and Chris Chambers who have worked with Ellie from a young age and have been a big influence on her progress," said Ellie's father, Peter. " I would also like to thank St Helens Council for all their support and the cricket opportunities they are providing within the borough.”
Chris Chambers added: “I am pleased that Ellie has been selected on the U15 England Women’s Development Programme. She has shown good maturity for one so young and has performed consistently well throughout the 2012 season. Her hard work and determination is always there to be seen and has led the Lancashire Girls U13s well as a captain.”
Threlkeld will now attend three weekends of coaching at the National Performance Centre at Loughborough University in January, February and March.