Where to start with someone who describes their worst characteristic as “wanting to do everything”? In only her second term at Oxford, Hertford’s Izzy Westbury has been elected to the Union, is in the Hockey Blues team and was, last week, selected for the England ‘A’ women’s cricket tour to India. Quite an achievement considering sometimes she “wonders whether I am actually studying Physiology as well”. When you consider that she has lived in Malaysia, Syria and now Holland, was head girl at Millfield and would like to pursue a career in the Foreign Office – cricket permitting – she has certainly not had an average upbringing.
For such a sporty individual the Union seems an unusual path for Izzy to have chosen to take at Oxford. She has loved the opportunity to “say what I think” and describes how speaking in the upcoming ‘healthcare debate’ is at the moment both nerve-racking and exciting. Blues hockey has been her other focus at Oxford, and she talks with excitement about her potential Varsity debut, though she admits to feeling guilty that in playing her second sport for the university she is perhaps depriving another the chance.
Cricket is without a doubt her priority. Her introduction to the sport came when, aged twelve and newly arrived in Holland, she learnt that she was not allowed to play football at the “local very traditional club that backed onto our garden and so turned to cricket because I loved competing with the boys.” Her progression through the upper levels of the sport began when she represented Holland aged fifteen in an ODI which she describes now as “horrific and premature”, although does credit Holland’s women’s set up for her flourishing career. A week after being selected for the England women’s ‘A’ tour to India you get the impression that whilst Izzy sees it as a great honour and opportunity, it is far from her final ambition. The England side is what she has her sights set on although she feels that, with “three years left in the England academy it maybe a way off”.
For the time being then, when actually in Oxford, look out for her in the cricket nets, the hockey pitch, the Union debating chamber, or perhaps even every once in a while in a tutorial or lecture.