What would you do with 350 rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Ranges and leaders on a Thursday evening in June?
The simple answer is to play cricket and lots of it at an internationally accredited stadium of course!
19 stations of activity across such a big group of girls all spread out across the immaculate outfield at Sophia Gardens realised the biggest girls’ only cricket event ever held at the stadium and all of them wearing a Welsh Fire shirt.
Our very own Welsh Fire & Western Storm players Alex Griffiths and Clare Nicholas were on hand to encourage this invasion of girls by joining in activities with them during the evening.
The event was timed so that girls can explore more about cricket by joining a local club’s junior section’s All Stars Cricket or Dynamos Cricket and to promote Welsh Fire's games coming up in the Hundred competition in August.
Girl’s cricket has grown exponentially recently with girl’s club membership up 55% between 2021 and 2022 or 287% since 2013.
On the night the 2023 Girl Guides & Cricket Wales’ Challenge pack was launched. Originally devised in 2022 this challenge pack and cricket ‘badge’ follows on from the success of the first challenge pack in 2022 where Girlguiding Cymru and Cricket Wales have continued their partnership to encourage more girls to play cricket. As part of the partnership, a brand-new cricket challenge pack and badge for girls and volunteers has been created. The pack includes activities and games that will help girls learn about the basics of cricket.
Click here to find out more https://girlguidingcymru.org.uk/cricket-challenge
One of the main organisers of last night was Women’s and Girls’ Development Office Becky Thomas “It was fantastic to see so many Girlguiding members taking part in the cricket taster session in Sophia Gardens as part of their cricket challenge pack. Also encouraging was to see so many leaders getting their girls active and trying a new sport and giving them the skills and confidence to discover a new activity.
Even better each participant left with a goody bag about the Hundred!
The Girl Guides recently commissioned a survey on girls attitudes and we have selected some of the findings to show how cricket addresses some of the things it talks about girl’s sport participation.
We know in cricket that that girls enjoy sport when they can do it within a girls’ only session. Here we encourage the girls to join cricket taster sessions so that they can complete their Sports Cricket Badge. This will get their girls out of the hall and into the outdoors to take part in active sessions which include modified All Stars/Dynamos Cricket.
- As well as being good for their mental health, over half (56%) of girls and young women aged 7 to 21 think playing team sports can help build girls’ confidence. However, girls and young women don’t think there’s equality in sports.
- Cricket in Wales has witnessed an amazing growth in girls’ cricket with a significant growth in teams since 2018 from 20-67.
- Almost two-thirds (64%) aged 7 to 21 want equal opportunities in sports and physical activities for girls and boys.
- In 2021 Cricket in Wales broke through the 50% barrier of clubs with female activities.
- Sexism in sport also holds girls back.
- Equality Diversity and Inclusion work of cricket in Wales has been applauded by the ECB, Welsh Sports Association, Investors in Diversity and the Institute of Directors.
- Girls and young women often see or experience sexism. They face barriers to accessing sport and physical activity. They also say gender stereotypes hold them back at school.
- The role models supplied by the professional game within the Western Storm/ Welsh Fire and England Women’s team are helping many girls think that cricket is a ‘game for me’.
- Many women are coming into the game as a volunteer coach or activate or just a player. Women’s teams have grown since 2018 from 20-91.
- Many barriers stop girls and young women taking part in sport and physical activity. The main one is they feel insecure.
- We know that our offer to girls, be it all stars or dynamos or general clubs’ cricket is not just about cricket but offering the opportunity for girls to improve confidence and have fun with friends.
To find out more about the game click here https://cricketwales.org.uk/women-and-girls-cricket-new