CAPE TOWN – Laura Wolvaardt, a 24-year-old professional cricket player from the Western Cape is ready to share her story on how she became Protea women’s top-order batter.
Adidas is excited to announce the release of the fourth episode of its original docu-series, “Remember My Name.”
This five-part series delves into the narratives of five distinguished female athletes, not only commemorating their remarkable accomplishments as South African athletes in their respective disciplines but also shedding light on the challenges faced by women in sports.
The fourth episode shines the light on South African cricket’s batting prodigy Laura Wolvaardt whose debut on the South African national team occurred at the tender age of 16 years old in 2016 in a one-day tournament against England.
Laura is known for being the youngest South African – male or female – to score an ODI century.
Wolvaardt has just been named Captain of the national team.
Laura’s love for Cricket began at the tender age of 5 years and she has not looked back since.
The opening batter had spent most of her time playing cricket with the boys at school and to her surprise this sport was not only played by boys but girls also played it.
“ I started playing cricket when I was 5 years old and I was friends with a lot of boys at school. They started playing the sport and I tagged along because I did not want to miss the fun,” said, Laura.
“In my mind, I always thought cricket was a boys sports and if I wanted to play the sport then I had to play with boys only. I only discovered at the age of 11 when I went to a practice session with a club and that was the first time I discovered there were other girls like me playing cricket,” concluded Wolvaardt.
Laura shone at her club and was picked for her provincial side at the age of 14 before making her debut for South Africa less than 18 months later, against England in February 2016.
“I was extremely excited about making my debut but very nervous as well. I was still young playing against Katherine Brunt who was ranked No 1 in the world. I had to open the batting and face the first ball against her,” said Wolvaardt.
“I was still playing for fun when I made my debut and didn’t realise how much pressure there was in the games – I was there to enjoy myself, I had not let the stress get to me too much. All of a sudden I am now touring the world, playing for South Africa and that is when I realised that this is really happening. Looking back I guess I was a little bit young, but then I would not have the experience I have now, “ concluded Laura.
Education still plays an important role in Laura’s life. She started studying Medicine after receiving 7 distinctions in her matric year of high school, “I always strived to get good marks and worked very hard on my schoolwork in order for me to get into medical school.”
“After securing a place at university to study medicine, I decided to postpone my enrolment for a year so that I could continue playing cricket but now I am back in school doing my Bachelor of Science, during my spare time I focus on my studies and making sure that I get good marks and finish the course.
“Cricket will only last me for a certain period in my life, sports can be unreliable and I could break my ankle anytime and be out for weeks or even months but with my qualifications, I can work until I am really old.” said Wolvaardt
Laura is now balancing sport and studies as she is currently studying a Bachelor of Science through UNISA. She attributes her achievements to the guidance and encouragement she has received, stating, “My mother has been a solid pillar of support, providing invaluable advice. Over the years, I have taken enormous pride in achieving the goals I set for myself and making my family proud.”
Laura believes this is the year to elevate her game both on and off the field.