As is the case with many Australian kids, Imogen Cooper has spent much of her childhood playing backyard cricket.
The 11-year-old regularly competes against her two older brothers for bragging rights in their homebound duels, but has never actually played organised cricket.
"Imogen's never actually played cricket in a club team," Imogen's mother, Kelly, said.
"She has two older brothers who play competitive rep and club cricket, so she was always in the backyard bowling. It's one sport she hasn't played competitively before, but she has basic knowledge and skills.
"She watches it on the TV, plays in the backyard and at school."
This, however, did not stop her earning a place in the NSW Primary Schools Sports Association South Coast cricket team.
Imogen was selected on the basis of her performance at the regional NSW trial day, which was held in Wollongong on June 15. She was the only Goulburn primary school student to attend, and took part in the skill-based drills and modified games the coaches used to gauge the players' ability.
The youngster impressed with her wholehearted approach to batting and bowling, and she was subsequently thrilled to see her name on the team list.
"I was very, very excited, it was an awesome achievement," Imogen said.
Since she learned of her selection, Imogen has been working hard at the Carr Confoy nets to improve her skills.
Her parents, Kelly and Jason, say their daughter is a burgeoning allrounder. She works hard with bat in hand and, with the ball, leaves absolutely nothing in the tank.
According to her father, Imogen's bowling style is simply "as fast as she can".
With several months of practice under her belt, Imogen has improved markedly, and though the NSW State Championship Carnival was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, she intends to continue her development in the sport.
Cricket is not Imogen's only athletic pursuit. She plays tennis, touch football, soccer, and is a keen swimmer.
The current pandemic has severely limited the possibility of any summer sport starting on time, but Imogen remains eager to add cricket to her long list of commitments this season.
"We'll probably play cricket on the weekends and then get in the pool," she said.
"They have actually said that all sport is up in the air at the moment, and I'm not even sure if touch football will happen this year, because that normally starts in October," Kelly added.
"Who knows, it's very unpredictable at the moment."
Should the summer sports go ahead, the next challenge the Cooper family will face is how to fit cricket into her already packed schedule.
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