From the Top! Our Senior Board Director Jennifer Owen – Adams
Despite some progress in recent years, women continue to be underrepresented in leadership positions across sport organisations in the UK and globally. If society really wants to realise the full benefits of sport (and it should) then that's got to change.
Sport is for everyone- that includes women and girls. I recognise that good progress has been made when it comes to women and girls engaging in sport and women taking up leadership positions in sport; but we need to work harder and smarter at making more sports available to women and girls; getting more women in positions of authority and influence across sport organisations is critical to making that happen.
Those who recruit and select talent to fill leadership positions in sport need to take a long, hard look at their practice, ask themselves some tough questions and consider what action they will take to remedy the gender inequity prevalent across leadership in sport. Some are trying; they know they need to change and that's to be welcomed but until we see more women leading in sport, too many women and girls will think that sport is not for them and will miss out on all that is valuable and precious in sport.
We at Cricket Wales are proud to have our first woman CEO and first woman Senior Director at Board level as well as other women Directors; we are 'blazing a trail' in the cricket world – and there’s more to come!
Our CEO Leshia Hawkins shares her thoughts.
I speak not as a female CEO, but just as an experienced sports marketer and administrator; There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the cricket’s biggest growth ‘market’ is female.
Whether you a mum of a player or an All Star.
Whether you are a girl starting your cricket journey in school, or maybe in an all-girls’ Dynamos session this summer.
If you a woman connected to a club by a family member, who has seen the men and boys playing and having all the fun, who thinks you might want to try Soft ball Cricket.
If you are a female player, inspired by the England Women or Western Storm, making your way through the ranks of hard-ball competition – or a female coach assisting them, or a female official supporting them.
Or you might experience your first live cricket match this year via The Hundred.
I think, in Wales, I can – proudly – say we have already proved the concept, certainly around participation; that there is a strong, latent demand for cricket among the ‘other’ 50% of the population, traditionally under-catered for by our sport (and many other team sports).
The challenge we have is keeping up with that demand and ensuring there are sufficient, suitable, and sustainable places to play.
Cricket Wales is entirely committed to expanding and supporting these opportunities and working with volunteers to help us to be able to say Cricket in Wales is a gender-balanced sport, and for every woman and girl in our country to be able to say, ‘Cricket is a game for me’.
From Sue Wells: Area Manager North Wales
Looking through the female lens is so important as we move towards making cricket in Wales a gender-neutral sport. In my time volunteering within Sport, I’ve been a Club Welfare Officer, Secretary, Coach & Committee Member.
By having an inclusive and diverse committee including women it can transform your cricket club. Consider the different skill sets & perspective through the women who are parents, members, players, or spectators and ask them to join your committee. This also shows the girls’ in your club what they can aspire to be.
In North Wales currently we have seen the impact of having Lucy Norman as Vice Chair of the North Wales Cricket League, watched the progress of Dolgellau & Hawarden Park Cricket Clubs who have created a specific committee role for their ladies sections & worked with ladies like Jenny Pitchford a Cricket Mum on her journey to becoming a Level 2 Coach.
Women are the next Chairperson; All Stars Activator, Secretary, Welfare Officer, Coach and offer a different perspective & energy which can lead to a vibrant & thriving girls’ & women’s section at your cricket club. Now is the time to get them involved!
CHECK OUT OUR WOMEN'S & GIRLS' PAGE