England cricket captain Charlotte Edwards visits Wales

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 Charlotte Edwards and Heather Knight at Cowbridge School

England women’s cricket captain Charlotte Edwards and England team mate Heather Knight visited schools and clubs throughout South East Wales on Tuesday 16th April and Wednesday 17th April to inspire the next generation of girls to play cricket. 

Following an exciting World Cup in India, Charlotte and Heather visited Wales in order to try and get more young girls interested in cricket. The trip was part of their roles as Chance to Shine coaching ambassadors and helped to promote the Cricket Wales Community Coach programme. 

The Cricket Wales Community Coach programme supported by Chance to Shine and Sport Wales is a national initiative designed to increase participation in cricket throughout Wales. Over 20,000 children took part in Wales last year and with 22 Community Coaches deployed throughout Wales the scheme is set for another bumper season. 

Charlotte’s itinerary included visits to Gladstone Primary School in Barry, Cowbridge Comprehensive School, Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen, Cwmbran Stadium, Glamorgan’s headquarters the SWALEC Stadium Cardiff, Monmouth Comprehensive School, and Newport Cricket Club. 

One of the highlights of the tour was a visit to Cowbridge Comprehensive School where Charlotte mentored aspiring young coach Lucy Johnston. Lucy coaches a girl’s only lunch-time cricket session at Cowbridge Comprehensive School. The sessions were launched in the secondary school as part of the Cricket Wales Community Coach programme and 5x60 initiative to provide pupils with the chance to participate in cricket on a weekly basis. 

Another feature of the tour was a girl’s open day hosted by Newport Cricket Club at the Wales National Velodrome. Over 100 girls attended the event, where they were coached by Cricket Wales Community Coaches and coaches from Newport CC. The girls were also given the opportunity to join Newport CC the largest girl’s junior cricket section in Wales. 

Cricket Wales Chief Executive Officer Peter Hybart said: “We were delighted that Charlotte could visit Wales. We aspire to make cricket accessible to everyone in Wales and I’m sure Charlotte has inspired the girls to play cricket, join a local cricket club and continue to enjoy the game.” Charlotte said: “I hope the girls came away from the day feeling inspired to go along to their local club and become part of a rapidly growing sport for girls. My role as a Chance to Shine Coaching Ambassador is great as it allows me to combine playing international cricket with a job where I can really make a difference.”

The visit of Charlotte Edwards, England Women's Captain and Heather Knight, England Batsman to Wales gave the current elite female cricketers in Wales a great opportunity. They gained insight in to how the England Women train and the type of drills they do to become top cricketers.

Charlotte and Heather led a batting and fielding session on Tuesday evening at the SWALEC Stadium which pushed the girls and challenged them to think about their game. Kelly Rogers, a member of the Wales U17 squad said "Its a great opportunity for us to meet Charlotte and Heather and see how they practise and find out how much time they spend training. It was really hard work but I really enjoyed the session"
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