A Broome teenager has had an exciting start to 2023, selected as one of twelve players across regional WA to compete in the State Under-15s Cricket Talent Carnival. Hayden Gittings, 14, travelled to Perth earlier this month to play for the WA Country XI, a selection of the best regional players from across the state. Together, the team would then take on five metro teams. Hayden said the experience was thrilling but added that he was nervous in the lead-up. “I was really nervous. But I ended up meeting some really cool new people, learning things from high-level coaches and even learning how to bowl to really good batsmen. It was really exciting.” The WA Country XI played two one-day games across the carnival and won their first clash. The Broome Senior High School student said, along with the win, playing on turf was a highlight. “We don’t get turf in Broome, so that was a really cool experience,” he said. The young Broome cricket star has always shown promise, having previously been selected for the Broome Sports Association’s Talent Development Program. “I got to go do stuff in the gym with high quality, high-performance coaches to help build my strength and skills,” he said. “It made me a better cricketer because I’ve built my strength, got better at stretching and it also taught me a lot of things about recovery.” Hayden will be playing for the Broome Pearlers in the town’s annual cricket competition this year and said he is looking forward to getting out on the field. “I’m going try harder, get a bit better and be more confident with my game,” he said. “I’ll take it step by step and try to get further in my cricketing career. Maybe even get to play for WA one day.” The 2023 Broome Cricket Association competition will kick off in August.