There is going to be a basketball match in our school this year, in December most probably. It is going to be an inter-house game. Girls from classes eight through ten will take part. There might be girls from classes six and seven too, but chances are slim. Selections from class eight A was held the day before yesterday. Our P.T. teacher saw some of the girls play, and selected some of the girls. I was selected. It was a dream coming true!
The first basketball matches in our school had been held two years ago, when I was in class six. At that time, I was just beginning to learn the game, so I was not selected for the team. I practiced the entire year so that I could take part next year. There was no match in class seven. I practiced another whole year. In the meantime, I kept growing taller, one big advantage for a basketball player. So this year, when I heard that there is going to be a match, I was one of the first people to enlist as an interested candidate. The entire month of April, and some of the days of May before the summer vacation, we practiced every single day. There were, I was quite surprised to find, many girls from my class. I was surprised because many of the girls were those who had never before shown any interest in sports. I guessed that they were the kind who had just come with the herd. I was right. The number went down drastically in about a week. That was better. Those girls didn’t want to do anything that needs hard work, and were just proving themselves to be nuisances. After school reopened in May, we started again with double vigour. We were now carrying sports shoes and shorts with us, and those of us who have basketballs were taking them as well. Our teacher kept giving us useful tips every now and then. The few girls who have learnt the game earlier in some club (and I’m pleased to say most of them are in Violet House, my House!) helped us with the rules. So by the time selections day came, we ourselves had a rough idea about who would be selected and who won’t. Nothing came as too big a surprise. Now that we are quite certain about our team members, we are concentrating on team strategies. Regular practice will go on as usual.
There is going to be some competition, and some spitefulness in the air. I am rather ashamed to say that games in our school are not played fairly. The last time we had basketball and kho-kho matches, one particular house had got itself known as the house of cheats. Of course, many of the girls who had played at that time have passed their ICSEs already. We have new players now. I am hoping this year’s match is going to be more enjoyable. My best friend is going to play against me (she is in Gold House), but we have promised to each other that we are not going to let any enmity on the field ruin our friendship. Of course, I will be very glad if we win, but then, winning is not the only reason I am going to play for. I will play because I enjoy playing. I am looking forward to a very nice first experience.