SEPTEMBER is the Women’s Big Cricket Month and clubs across Gloucestershire have responded with a series of initiatives ensuring that women and girls know that cricket is a sport for all.
Despite the impact of the Coronavirus crisis on the sporting landscape, clubs have been organising events for women and girls to play, watch or attend cricket, and try to maintain momentum from earlier in the year when more than 86,000 people piled into the MCG to watch Australia win the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, which also drew 1.1 billion video views across ICC channels during the tournament.
Locally, Frampton-on-Severn Ladies organised a well-attended intra-club soft ball tournament on the village green – girls in the morning and women in the afternoon – to wrap up their shortened season.
The teams consisted of existing women and the club’s over-14 girls who played either hard ball or soft ball during the season along with several players returning to the sport or who were new to the game.
Over at Hawkesbury Upton, meanwhile, a soft ball match was also organised for 18 ladies, including two who were taking part in their first-ever match, while several took the plunge and tried their hand at hard ball cricket as part of a mixed team of juniors/seniors, men and women.
Jenna Chappell said: “Women’s and girls cricket for us has expanded fantastically in the last two seasons and it is becoming extremely popular.
“We are getting more and more interest to introduce the hard ball which is fantastic. Soft ball offers so much flexibility with its short and friendly format to develop skills and it’s the perfect stepping stone for women’s and girls’ cricket.
“Next season we plan to have two softball teams in the leagues and organise hard ball friendly matches and we can’t wait already, we are all very sad that the season will end soon.”
Following the successful launch of the Tockington & Thornbury Tornadoes girls cricket team this season, a family fun day was held including a mums and sons/daughters match.
More than 20 mums took part with children as young as five also involved, leading to the scheduling of a women’s taster session with more than 20 interested participants.
Scott Tremain, the GCB’s Growth Development Officer, said: “It’s been brilliant to see clubs putting on these events to encourage more people and existing members of their club who don’t currently play to have a go with many starting women’s and girls’ cricket for the first time.
“There has been lots more activity happening across the county – it’s been wonderful to see and thank you to all the clubs and their volunteers who have worked so hard in such tricky circumstances to develop women’s and girls’ cricket.”