Friday, December 4th, 2015

Girls Cricket Boom As Result Of Women’s Ashes Legacy

Girls Cricket Boom As Result Of Women’s Ashes Legacy

Worcestershire Cricket Board cricket development director Tom Hill has reported a major upturn in the number of girls involved in the game in the region as a result of the 2015 Women's Ashes legacy programme.

The number of clubs in the County offering girls cricket has increased to seven involving around 100 girls compared to the previous figure of three clubs and approximately 30 girls – an upturn of more than 300 per cent – during the past 12 months.

Hill admits that the Women's Ashes match at New Road between England Women and Australia Women in July helped inspire many of these girls.

This followed on from having their initial interest in the game being awakened by coaching sessions around the County organised by the Worcestershire Cricket Board using members of the County Women's first team squad as role models.

Now Hill is looking to build even further on that feelgood factor for girls cricket with a similar programme based around this summer's One-Day International between England Women and Pakistan Women at New Road.

He said: "There is no doubt that 2015 has been a monumental year for women and girls cricket in the region.

"History was made as it was the first year Worcestershire Women 1st XI played at New Road under the name of Worcestershire Rapids.

"It underpinned the relationship with Worcestershire County Cricket Club and the importance placed on providing opportunities for Women and Girl’s to take part in our game.

"Likewise we were pleased to see one of our local girls in Emily Arlott make it through to the England Women’s Development Programme, proving to be a strong role model for local girls by inspiring the next generation.

"We were also fortunate enough to have the Ashes match at New Road. We thought it provided a one-off opportunity to engage a large number of girls.

"We set up eight hubs around the county where we went and delivered girls only taster sessions. We then took those girls across to local clubs where we used some of our women first eleven players who went and coached them as role models.

"What we did then we invited all those girls to come down and play at New Road before the Women's Ashes match on the same day.

"The whole programme was geared around these girls having an event which was being part of the Ashes.

"About 140 girls were involved in the programme but over that programme we've increased our girls sections from three to seven. Hill added:

"It is encouraging to have another England Women's match at New Road next summer against Pakistan Women and we've got to use these opportunities where we can inspire the next generation of girls.

"We are planning a similar scheme with the hubs and events on the day of the game. These are things that will stay with these girls for the rest of their lives.

"Even if they don't choose to play cricket now, they will have a memory of 'my day out at New Road' with Charlotte Edwards and all the other players and you can't take that away from them.

"We do urge local companies to come forward and help embed these opportunities for legacy programmes, they really do change lives and provide representation for girls in a male dominated sport."