Decade long love of rounders rewarded by England under19s
When Pippa Palmer first picked up a rounders bat at the age of nine, she fell in love with the game.
And a decade later, the West Suffolk College student has reached the pinnacle, with a place in the England Under-19s squad.
Pippa, from Mildenhall, was inspired to look into further opportunities within the sport when she started at the college and came across the youth development England team.
The now 20-year-old decided to trial for the under-19s squad and was delighted to be told she had been successful.
The Sports Coaching student said: “Being in the squad feels amazing.
“We are adapting as a team as we have just started playing together for this season.
“We are not used to each other as we have different techniques and abilities, but we bond well together and make a great team.”
The season only began in May but the squad has already taken part in a festival in Somerset, winning two out their three matches.
At the festival Pippa was further nominated as the Umpire’s Player.
She added: “I feel it’s such a great game because it’s easy to set up, fully inclusive and safe to play.
“It stands out against other sports because rounders promotes team work, communication and decision making amongst young people.”
She is hoping her skills will help her progress to the main England team at some point in the near future.
Although she is now over 19, she remains eligible for the squad for the rest of the season as she turned 20 after the beginning.
Pippa does not play for a regular club and has only played at school and college, but decided to look up the England rounders team and trial for the side due to her love of the game.
The sports mad student now travels to Corby twice a week to play with the rest of her team.
Pippa said it had all come about through years of participation and interest in the sport.
Her love of rounders started many years ago, when her school entered a local youth tournament.
The former King’s Ely student was part of that school team throughout her time there and was eventually made captain, an achievement she is particularly proud of.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the competitive nature of the sport from the very beginning”, she said.
“Since then I have always played rounders and it has become one of my favourite sports. So I continued to play, right into secondary school age and now beyond.”
The squad have further matches lined up in Burnley, Harrogate and Hereford.