Home' The Wellingtonian : January 10th 2013 Contents 12 THE WELLINGTONIAN, JANUARY 10, 2013
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A champion at two sports
Joseph Romanos talks
to double international
Sophie Devine about
design and playing
cricket at Lord's.
Sophie Devine on the 2011 Christchurch earthquake: ''It was an incredible thing, the noise, the destruction, the people in shock.''
Was it always sport with you?
Pretty much. I'd listen to my
dad and my older brother talking
sport over dinner. One of my ear-
liest memories is kicking a rugby
ball with my brother. The front
yard in our house in Tawa had a
cricket pitch. We'd roll it with a
What about schoolwork?
It wasn't my favourite thing,
BA majoring in sociology.
You seemed to play cricket
against boys almost right from
That's true. I played with boys
up to about the Wellington under-
14 reps. They treated me well. I
grew up playing against boys like
Ricky Joseph, Michael Pollard
and Joe Austin-Smellie and got to
know them all. It added a bit of
extra pressure. I had to prove
myself, and they didn't want a girl
getting them out. It really helped
my cricket, and I'd recommend it
to any promising girl cricketer.
So playing with the boys
wasn't an issue?
Not with the boys, but some
parents and coaches had a bit to
say, about eligibility and so on.
What about hockey?
I began playing at Linden Park
at primary school. I played with
the boys in hockey, too, but not for
as long. One of my early team-
mates was Blair Hilton, who's in
the New Zealand team.
Were there other sports,
Pretty much anything -- basket-
ball, volleyball, soccer, tennis,
squash. I was hopeless at swim-
You were such an outstand-
ing schoolgirl bowler. Was it
difficult moving into senior
I learnt quickly I wasn't going
to be getting five-wicket bags
every week. I learnt I had to to be
smarter about my cricket. Men
have more strength, but the top
women's cricketers are smarter.
They have to be. They think about
Getting into the New Zea-
land cricket team at 17, were
you well treated by the senior
Haidee Tiffen was the captain
and she's become one of my best
cricket friends. Other senior
players like Sara McGlashan and
Nicky Browne made a real effort,
took me under their wing.
What about hockey?
I made the Wellington team
when I was 16. It's been fine. You
have to prove yourself on the
park, and that's how it should be.
I notice you've worn Canter-
bury colours quite a bit lately.
Our family moved to Christ-
church a few years ago, with Dad's
job. I've played hockey and cricket
for Canterbury. I liked playing
hockey for them, but it felt
strange playing cricket for Can-
terbury and I'm back playing for
Wellington now. It feels more like
Were you in Christchurch
during the earthquake?
Yes, the White Ferns were
preparing for a match. We were in
Cathedral Square at the time.
started shaking. One of the girls
in front turned round to tell the
girls behind to stop playing. Then
through the back window she saw
what was happening to the
cathedral. It was an incredible
thing, the noise, the destruction,
the people in shock. We ran out to
Hagley Park and picked up vari-
ous people along the way who
were looking stunned and lost.
That was a huge decision to
give away cricket to try to
make the Olympic hockey
team last year.
I'd played cricket every summer
for 15 years. I really missed it and
I'd still go along and watch. I even
turned out for my dad's 3B team a
couple of times.
It must have been tough to
miss out on the Olympics.
It was. But I missed the tour
before so I knew it was on the
cards. Six or seven defenders were
vying for three or four places. I
couldn't feel bitter, though. I knew
how hard they'd worked and it
was awesome to see them play so
well in London.
Are you still eyeing the
Very much. Rio in 2016. I want
to play cricket and hockey if I can,
but it would be great to be part of
a big Games team, to be involved
in things like the opening cer-
What are the best cricket
grounds you've played on?
I've been lucky. We've played at
Lord's a couple of times. That was
special to me, because I'm a real
cricket geek. Also the Sydney
Cricket Ground, the Adelaide
Oval, the Basin, of course. Prob-
ably the best atmosphere was in
the West Indies during the
Twenty20 World Cup. That was
Playing in Argentina was really
cool. Hockey's a bit of a religion
over there. Holland too -- that was
Do you do much sightsee-
I try to, but you have to remem-
ber why you're there. I try to not
make it just hotel-training-hotel-
game. It's good to see what a place
has to offer.
What do you do outside
I did a correspondence course in
landscape design last year. That
was hard, but it's the path I want
to go down. I like it because it's
outside, it's results-related and
it's not sport. It's good to have a
bit of balance in your life.
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