Sil­ver lin­ing af­ter rugby con­cus­sion

Auckland City Harbour News - - MILESTONES - TORIKA TOKALAU-CHAN­DRA

Ge­orge Coombe was dev­as­tated when his rugby dreams ended this year fol­low­ing a head in­jury which put him out of the sport for good.

How­ever, as that door closed, an­other door opened for Coombe, through cricket which saw him recog­nised as the Best A Grade Bats­man of the Year by Auck­land Cricket last month.

The year 12 Auck­land Gram­mar School (AGS) stu­dent had suf­fered a head con­cus­sion play­ing for the school’s 2A rugby team team in June, against Mt Al­bert Gram­mar School.

Forced to let rugby go, Coombe then fo­cused all his at­ten­tion on cricket.

The bats­man, who of­ten plays for Corn­wall Cricket, was one of three AGS stu­dents that scooped awards at the Auck­land Re­gional Cricket Prize­giv­ing.

The other two win­ners were Kaylin Daji, awarded the Colts bowler of the year and Samuel James Ever­ton, who won A Grade bowler of the year.

‘‘I was stoked re­ally, I didn’t know I was go­ing to win the award un­til about a week be­fore the event,’’ Coombe said.

‘‘They asked me to go along to the awards and I was re­ally sur- prised that I won.’’

Coombe’s big­gest achieve­ment on the oval this year was scor­ing 100 runs against King’s Col­lege in term one of school.

He at­tributes that suc­cess­ful feat to fo­cus - af­ter re­luc­tantly let­ting rugby go, he had shifted his en­tire fo­cus onto his cricket game.

‘‘I think in cricket, if you over­think ev­ery­thing, it gets to your head. I just stayed fo­cused and did the best I could.

‘‘I love cricket in the sense that while it is a team sport, there is also op­por­tu­ni­ties to shine in­di­vid­u­ally.

‘‘When your team is not do­ing well, it’s not the best game but when you’re do­ing so well it’s so much fun.’’

Cricket has filled the void that rugby had in Coombe’s life. While his game im­proves in ev­ery out­ing, he’s also found life­long friends through his team mates.

Next year, Coombe prom­ises to work harder on his bat­ting but hasn’t de­cided if he wants to pur­sue cricket pro­fes­sion­ally in the fu­ture.

‘‘I prob­a­bly might, who knows. I haven’t thought that far but right now, I just want to say fo­cused on play­ing cricket in school and im­prov­ing the other as­pects of my game in the off­sea­son.’’

SUPPLIED

From, left, Ge­orge Coombe, Kaylin Daji and Samuel James Ever­ton re­ceived awards at the Auck­land Cricket Re­gional Awards this year.

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