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Nesbeth earns St Bede’s opportunity

Talented cricketer: LeiLanni Nesbeth (Photograph by Kelechi Jones)

LeiLanni Nesbeth will attend one of the top sports schools in England in September

The talented young cricketer has been given a full scholarship to St Bede’s school in Sussex, the same school that Delray Rawlins, the Bermuda Under-19 captain, attends.

The 14-year-old, who is also an accomplished footballer, basketball player and track star, will enter the third year of the senior school, and will pursue multiple GCSE courses in addition to improving her cricket.

“My main priority will be cricket even though I enjoy other sports,” Nesbeth said. “It will be a great experience because Bede’s is such an outstanding school, and I will perform to the best of my ability and even with sports I will try to do well in academics as well.”

The coaching staff at Bede’s includes Alan Wells, the former Sussex captain and England cricketer, Neil Lenham, the former Sussex cricketer, and Peter Lenham, one of the top coaches in the women’s game in England.

Bede’s entered an under-13 girls team in the 2015 Lady Taverner’s U13 indoor tournament with 27 other schools. A development team was created as a squad, comfortably the youngest in Sussex. Bede’s came third out of 27 schools in Sussex and reached the county finals. There are now four county players from that team in the Sussex squads.

Nesbeth faces several challenges in her move to England, not least being away from family and friends for the first time. However, with Rawlins just one of a number of Bermuda students at Bede’s, Nesbeth will not be completely alone and is looking forward to the experience.

“Being away from my parents I will have to rely on myself because I wont have the support like I do have here in Bermuda,” Nesbeth said. “Going to Sussex it will be new surroundings, it will be a different atmosphere, but I will learn more skills because of the new coaches.”

Neil Speight, the Bermuda Cricket Board chief executive, pointed to the support the Board received from Bank of Bermuda Foundation and XL Foundation as being instrumental in making the move possible.

“The BCB thanks the Head of School Dr Richard Maloney, who has taken a personal interest in LeiLanni’s development and to the exceptional Head of Admissions Sally Wellings for making this opportunity possible.”

Nesbeth said having the chance to develop her cricket, and work towards her dream of becoming a professional was something she was extremely grateful for and hoped others would be able to follow in her footsteps.

“The opportunity to study at a prestigious school that already has strong Bermuda ties will provide me with incredible academic and sporting opportunities,” she said. “I take this chance with the knowledge and responsibility that not only do I have an amazing chance to develop myself, but I hope that I can inspire many more young girls to enjoy the great sport of cricket and follow in my steps.”