Olivia Thornton can still picture the storied stone chapel resting in the heart of Long Eaton's prestigious Trent College.
She may not have known it at the time, but Thornton's time here as a teacher wedged between her five-year stint playing cricket with Nottingham would reshape her future.
"My time in England started as going over there to play cricket, and it ended up transitioning and being more about my professional development as opposed to my development as a player," Thornton said.
Today Thornton is breaking through the glass ceiling as Cricket ACT's first chief executive officer in the organisation's 99-year history, emerging as a trailblazer for female administrators in a traditionally male-dominated landscape.
She will fill the void from March 15 after James Allsopp takes on a role at Cricket Australia, making Thornton the lone female chief executive officer across Canberra's major sporting organisations.
"I'm incredibly honoured and I say that genuinely, because I've got a really good platform to be able to help inspire and empower that next generation of female administrators," Thornton said.
"We've got some really good operators locally and even nationally in that middle level management. If I can help them to take that next step, whether it's in the short-term or the long-term, I think that is a really positive thing and certainly something I will look to do.
"I've always had really strong women around me who have taken me under their wing when I was younger. I have an opportunity to pay that forward and I think that is an incredibly special thing.
"Whether it's in business or in sport, or as a captain bringing a young player through, it's a really rewarding piece and I certainly won't take that lightly."
Thornton left her post as Trent College's head of the physical education department in 2014 to take on a role at the AIS related to athlete wellbeing for almost three years.
She soon took an opportunity to return to the cricket in Cricket Australia's coaching development pathway, before migrating to Cricket ACT as high performance manager two years ago.
Now she steps into the hot seat of Canberra cricket determined to ensure facilities are adequate and female friendly, and looking to find more ways to make the game an inclusive space.
"Gender is only one lens of diversity as well, we need to continue to explore ways of all diversity lenses to ensure we're providing a really rich experience for our participants and our community," Thornton said.
"Our differences that people bring to the table, that's how we are going to be stronger as a sport, be more tolerant, reduce discrimination. That will be spurred on by being more adverse.
"Whilst gender is one lens and a really important lens, there are certainly other lenses we need to acknowledge and continue to be more diverse."
Thornton takes the reins at Cricket ACT amid a tumultuous period caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The association's funding has been cut, and the pandemic has "forced our hand" to adjust and in turn led to "a massive silver lining".
Cricket ACT staff were "forced to be nimble, innovative, and to think outside the box". Staff managed to pull things together to host 13 Big Bash games this season, some on just a few days' notice.
But Thornton is just getting started.
"One of the things I'm really proud of is we're one of two organisations with our female board representation over 40 per cent, which is an Australian cricket goal," Thornton said.
"We now are one of two organisations that have a female chief executive officer. We have a female elite coaching scholarship which Erin Osborne is involved with, to again provide Erin with an opportunity as a young female who has certainly got a lot to offer an opportunity within our sport.
"Thirty-five per cent of our workforce is female. That's something I am really proud of and something we will continue to bring to life."
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