A FORMER Uttoxeter school pupil who has performed all over the world with the Royal Marines band is currently on a three-week tour of Sri Lanka — playing cricket.
Kate Wheway, formerly of Somersal Herbert, plays clarinet and viola in the Royal Marines band and is currently based at HMS Collingwood the Royal Navy’s largest training establishment which is in Fareham, near Portsmouth.
The 24-year-old ex-Thomas Alleyne’s High School pupil joined the marines in 2005 and has had the opportunity to pursue her interest in cricket.
The off-spinner impressed when playing for the marines against the Army and RAF teams which led to her being called up to the combined forces female cricket team for their tour to Sri Lanka.
Her father Andrew Wheway told the Advertiser his daughter is enjoying the experience.
He said: “She has been out there a weekand- a-half now and we’ve had an email from her where she said the Sri Lankan bowlers are very good and she is up against seven Sri Lankan internationals.
“She will play at least two matches out of the four and she said there are a variety of pitch conditions out there.
“She also said it is monsoon weather at the moment and it just keeps getting hotter and hotter.
“She has always been interested in cricket as I was quite a useful local cricketer and had trials for Derbyshire at 19 and I often took her down the nets but she didn’t really have the chance to play cricket at school.
“She was very excited and was on cloud nine when she heard about the tour and it is such a great opportunity.”
Miss Wheway is no stranger to travelling as through her work with the Royal Marines band she has performed in Australia, Gibraltar, Norway and Germany.
“She is very lucky to have gone to all these distant places,” Mr Wheway said.
“She has just passed her music degree with honours. One of the main reasons she went into the Royal Marines was because she loved her music but also she could get paid for doing it and not end up with £20,000 of debt from university.
“She is quite settled down there now and hopes to stay in the band.”
Musical talent appears to run in the family with Miss Wheway’s sister Hannah, 21, a renowned violinist who was also in the Royal Marines but has since moved on to the RAF band.