Rae of Sunshine as Ollie Has a Great Summer
It has been quite a few weeks for female cricketer Ollie Rae.
Firstly she received her 50th Scotland cap and then the 28-year-old hit a superb 171 not out for Carlton Women against Galloway in the Scottish Cup at Grange Loan.
Rae got into the sport when she was growing up in Durham and wanted to follow in her brother’s footsteps.
She was just five about the time and began to play at Durham City.
“I loved the sport from a young age and for me team sport is about working together to come up with a winning game plan in response to the questions being asked by your opposition,” Rae explained.
“Every sport tests you in some way, but cricket stands out for me because every game offers completely different challenges. When batting you are constantly evaluating your approach to scoring runs, working with your partner at the other end. Strong teams with clear goals win more games of cricket.”
The batting all-rounder – who also loves fielding – started to juggle her cricket around school work and other activities as she grew up.
She then focused on her undergraduate and postgraduate study.
Cricket was never far from her mind though and Rae recounts: “After graduating for the second time I realised that things have different ‘sell by dates’ in life and playing is not something I could do forever.
“So, I decided to prioritise my playing career for Scotland. I think this shift in mentality and focus earned me the international spot.
“I started playing in the ECB competition for Scotland when I moved to Edinburgh in 2010, and I’ve just received my 50th cap. I had been inspired to live in Scotland from an early age having been taken on many holidays to Edinburgh by my dad.
“My grandparents were Scottish and although I was never fortunate to meet them, I have always been keen to follow my Scottish roots. There have been many proud moments playing for Scotland but the highlight would have to be the recent series win over Holland to gain a place in the World Cup qualifiers. ”
Rae is a level 3 coach and during summer term time she coaches in South Edinburgh primary schools, Holyrood High School and George Watson’s College.
She also work as a sales assistant in Aitken and Niven, a sports and school uniform specialist, and has spent a couple of winters playing in New Zealand.
Rae stated: “The challenge for me now cricket-wise is to remain mentally focused and positive, as this wonderful game can throw all sorts at you.
“I have had times where I have struggled to score runs and lost confidence, but I feel I have broken that mental barrier now and whatever happens I have found a way to remain positive and ready for the next game.
“For example recently I scored 1 one day and the next I scored 171, so you never know what is around the corner. There are two 50 over games left for Scotland still this summer – and I hope to contribute with the bat to two winning performances.
“After that it is about knuckling down to some hard work in autumn/winter training in preparation for the global World Cup qualifiers which will be held early next year.
“It was such an amazing feeling to be able to score that 171 recently and I was humbled by the response of not only my team mates, but the opposition. Carlton put a lot into their women’s section and I’m glad that I could repay them by scoring a century.
“I am 28 now which hopefully will act as motivation to those coming through the ranks and show them that there is plenty of time and your hard work does eventually pay off! I’m hoping I have 50 more Scotland caps left in me.”