Phoebe Litchfield joined the ranks of elite Orange sportspeople on Thursday night when she was crowned the junior athlete of the year after an amazing 12 months of achievements in both cricket and hockey.
While she's made strides in the city in recent times, the Kinross student won't soon forget where she's from and says the local accolades are just as meaningful to her as the national ones.
"It's great... it's nice to be acknowledged in the Orange community," Litchfield said.
During the live broadcast, councillor Jason Hamling mentioned Litchfield's ongoing efforts to get to the town's sporting events and give back to Orange and the 17-year-old thinks it's crucial to stay connected with where she's from.
"I enjoy coming back and watching my old teammates," she said.
"It means a lot to come back and get out there and support it... I don't want to get too big for my boots.
"I've got to still be grounded and I've got a lot of mates that I played with here."
Litchfield's had to get used to being the youngest player on almost all of the open-age sides she's been a part of but says the transition's been made smoother by the ongoing support of her teammates.
"They're always really supportive... it's obviously hard for a young player to be dropped into an open side but they've been great," she said.
She's gearing up to go around with the Breakers again as that campaign is set to kick-off in September and she's also got her eye on the Sydney Thunder's looming WBBL campaign.
"I'm hoping the Big Bash goes ahead but that's just depending on the virus," she said. She has a blast playing T20 cricket but when asked to compare the two formats, she leant towards 50-over cricket... at least from a batting standpoint.
"It's a lot of fun and I like that it's short and sharp," she said.
"But, I do enjoy batting in 50-over cricket because you've got more time and can develop more of an innings.
"Because I bat five in the WBBL, you get in there and you've got five overs to go so it can be quite stressful.
"It is fun to play under the lights and with the crowds."
Breakers' captain, Lisa Griffiths weighed in on Litchfield's re-selection for the upcoming campaign.
"I'm sure Phoebe will show everyone her class and skill again this season, and she's a great person to have around," Griffith said.
"It's fantastic to see the Western girls getting among the action.
"It's weird feeling old in this team, at 27, but it's nice to be considered a leader in the group and to look after some of these younger players."
Litchfield's return to the Breakers should come as a surprise to no-one after the 17-year-old averaged 42 in her debut WNCL season in 2019-20.
Cricket Australia announced the length of the WNCL would remain unchanged this summer, while fixtures are likely to be announced in July.
Litchfield wasn't the only Kinross Wolaroi contingent to receive awards on Thursday night and she weighed on the heroic effort put forward by her school's rowing team as the group were awarded team of the year by council.
"They're spectacular," she said.
"It's nice for them to be recognised by the community... they're the best in Australia."
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