Cricket in Wales has once again reported a healthy end of season position and further Year-on-Year growth, following the 2022 Club Audit.
188 clubs (96% of affililated clubs) responded to tell Cricket Wales how their club has fared and developed in the last 12 months, and what they are looking to focus on, to continue growing and remaining as relevant as possible to the communities they serve.
The summary headlines were as follows:
- Open age teams/membership both increased; 60% of this increase is in female teams and participants.
- Junior club membership up by 10% on 2021 - driven in many places by successful All Stars Cricket & Dynamos Cricket programmes.
- Our game continues to be more ethnically-diverse; Overall club membership proportion from minority ethnic groups is now 13% in senior sections and 18% among junior players (against, statistically, a national representative proportion of the population of 5%)
- Girls’ participation increased again, by 55% on 2021's numbers; Women’s participation is also still growing, up 42% in the last year; and 57% of clubs in Wales now offer cricket to female participants.
- Traditional Saturday League team numbers remaining steady.
- The proportion of female cricketers is increasing rapidly.
While Saturday league cricket team numbers have once again stayed static and senior men's membership has seen a small (3% fall), women's senior teams have grown significantly, which is mirrored in the number of girls' teams forming and taking part in competitions; Girls now account for nearly 25% of all junior participants in Wales.
The growth of juniors in clubs has largely been due to the success of All Stars and Dynamos becoming a regular sight up and down Wales across the summer months.
The focus for clubs and Cricket Wales will remain on retaining and transitioning this summer interest into appropriate playing formats ie in formalised age group teams. A new question asked this year encouraged clubs to report how many juniors they are transitioning from the highly successful All Stars programme to Dynamos Cricket and onto u9 and u11 teams; this was, in both cases, approximately a third.
Junior membership was also reported to have climbed another 10% since 2021, a remarkable achievement in the context of the latest the School Sport Survey (Sport Wales 2022) which reported sharp declines in most sports and activities, since the Covid Pandemic, with under-privileged groups hit the hardest.
Commenting on the results, Cricket Wales CEO, Leshia Hawkins, said, "Once again, I must express my warmest congratulations and thanks to the Cricket Wales team, and our extraordinary volunteers in clubs, who are ultimately creating and sustaining this interest and growth in our sport and producing such phenomenal results, which any team sport in Wales would no doubt covet.
"And this is before we consider the life-changing programmes we are running to address inactivity and access challenges in under-privilged areas of Wales.
"I continue to be extremely proud of our officers and our sport as a whole in Wales, and am excited about cricket's potential and power to do even more good in our communities in 2023 and beyond."
Fresh from our recent workshop to review and invite scrutiny of our approach to diversity and inclusion, seeing the continued growth of junior and senior membership from ethnic minority communities within our clubs was especially pleasing.
There were also new questions in the audit pertaining to LGBTQ+ matters of diversity and inclusivity; a number of clubs requested more support in this area, which we will be actioning, alongside additional bespoke support for clubs to increase their use of the Welsh language.
We asked also about the confidence of clubs in their safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, with over 90% of responding clubs reporting a very high confidence in this critical area.
One of cricket's major ambitions moving forwards will continue to be to record as much cricket as possible on the Play-Cricket platform, in order that we have a robust, live indicator of participation in terms of teams, individuals and match instances, which will support our operational development, planning and further inform our Facilities Strategy.
To view more detail,you can find the summary presentation here .