At the beginning of the 2017 summer season, Gloucestershire Cricket Board began an initiative among its affiliated clubs designed to increase women’s participation in the game by offering 6 weeks of dedicated coaching in a ‘soft ball’ format.
We, at Newent, saw this as an opportunity to reach out to those women who may never have played the game before, and to those who may have played at a younger age but who, for whatever reason have given up. We took up the offer of coaching and began by targeting our mums at the Friday junior sessions! Curiosity got the better of some, and together with a little gentle (!) persuasion of others, numbers swelled over the successive weeks until there were 18 registered players.
It was a hit, and at the end of the junior season in July, the group asked to continue with the Friday evening sessions. They subsequently took part in two summer festivals involving some of the other 16 clubs in Gloucestershire who signed up, and they have now entered the winter indoor League.
What is truly fantastic is the spirit in which all the games are played. Winning is nice, but it hasn’t defined success; it’s the enjoyment which is of paramount importance. We thought that we might get a bit of interest in the initiative, but it has taken off and has become a real success story in the development of the club.
We fully intend to carry on in the coming outdoor season and any female over the age of 14 who would like to get involved should contact Helen Kelly at email@example.com. The only criteria for participation is that you must be prepared to have a good time!
NEAR FREEZING TEMPERATURES CAN’T COOL WOMEN’S ENTHUSIASM
Temperatures were near freezing on Friday evening in the air-dome at Bentham Country Club for the first Women’s indoor League fixture against Stroud. This was a far cry from tee shirts and shorts weather, as layer upon layer was added to insulate against the cold. There was no shortage of enthusiasm, however, as the team of 6 attempted to chase down the 300 runs set by Stroud in the first innings. With 21 needed off the final over, the final pair of Lucy and Phoebe Wallace gave it their all but ran out of balls just 9 runs from victory.
It was a great evening and the game was played in a fantastic spirit.
The team comprised Helen Kelly (captain), Cathy Wallace, Izzy Henson, Lucy, Wallace, Phoebe Wallace and Ella Wallace.
The next game is in the Bentham Dome against Frampton-on-Severn at 8.00pm on Friday 19 January. With the weather forecast for colder temperatures during this week, even more warm clothing is strongly recommended!
Updated 19:01 - 3 Feb 2018 by Chris Germaine