BENDIGO youngsters Ryan O’Keefe and Letesha Bawden will swap their school clothes for their Victorian state gear next week.
The duo have been selected to represent Victoria at the School Sport Australia nationals 12-years-and-under championships in Darwin.
O’Keefe and Bawden impressed selectors at a series of trials run in January this year.
It will be the first time the two youngsters will represent Victoria.
Both O'Keefe and Bawden have been travelling to Melbourne for the past month to train with their Victorian teammates.
O’Keefe, an all-rounder from the Kangaroo Flat Cricket Club said he was looking forward to the challenge of playing with the best young cricketers in Victoria.
“I am excited,” he said.
“I want to get some more experience.”
The Crusoe College student was one of the stars in the Roos’ under-13 A premiership team last summer.
The 12-year-old scored an unbeaten 47 with the bat and took 3-12 with the ball in their grand final victory.
O'Keefe and the Victorian boys team will be aiming to defend the national schools title they won in Bendigo in January this year.
Bawden, a right-handed medium pace bowler, said there was one thing she wanted to do while competing at the championships.
“I want to beat New South Wales,” she said.
The White Hills Primary School student said it was an honour to be selected to play for Victoria.
She said she was looking forward to making new friends throughout the eight-day tournament.
Bawden played with the under-11A cricket team for White Hills last season.
Both O'Keefe and Bawden thanked their family, friends and community for their support.
The nationals begin on Monday, with the Victorian boys and girls teams facing South Australia in their first match.