National final caps a memorable summer
Girls cricket in West Lancashire has come a long way in the last two years with more girls than ever before playing in school, at local clubs and as part of the District Girls Coaching Programme.
2010 saw a number of successes which have been built on in 2011 and girl cricketers within the borough are now benefitting from these successes as more girls are drawn into the programme.
Building blocks created in 2010
Last year saw a number of developments within the girl’s game, Chance 2 Shine were at the forefront of this and Ormskirk CC, Burscough CC and the West Lancs Cricket Development Group worked closely with schools and the local School Sport Partnership to create pathways into local coaching and competition programmes. The District, and the Chance 2 Shine link between Ormskirk School and Ormskirk CC, was rewarded at the end of 2010 by winning the National Chance 2 Shine Brit Insurance Award for the Development of the Girls Game.
Success continues in 2011
2011 has been a hectic year all ready for girl cricketers in West Lancs, a Winter Coaching Programme took place at Glenburn Sports College from January through March, cumulating in an Indoor District Girls Competition on the 27th March organised by the West Lancs CDG. 10 local Districts and over 100 girls competed at U12 and U14 level with Ribble Valley winning the U12 Competition and West Lancs at U14 Level. The 2010/11 Winter was also a busy one for West Lancashire School Girls as 7 High Schools received a coaching programme leading into a local Lady Taverners Competition which was won by Ormskirk School at U13 & U15 level. This wasn’t to be the only competition they would win this year, winning the County Finals for the second successive year at U13 & U15 level whilst going one better than in 2010 by winning the North of England Finals at Headingly in April. The School were the only one to be represented at U13 & U15 level at the National Lady Taverners Finals at Lord’s and competed well to finish in 3rd and 2nd place respectively.
The success of the winter has driven girl’s cricket in the borough and the early part of the summer season saw more girls than ever sign up at local clubs and attend District Girls Only Coaching in April / May. These participation levels have once again been helped by the Chance 2 Shine Programmes that are running in the area; indeed we had the pleasure of welcoming Danielle Hazel, C2S Ambassador for Women’s Cricket in the North and current England Cricketer. Her involvement in a High School Girls Gifted & Talented Cricket Day along with a day of Primary School visits further enthused girls to join the ever growing programme. Twenty two Primary Schools entered the West Lancs Kwik Cricket Y6 & below Girls Only Competition in May again highlighting the commitment West Lancs Schools have to encouraging girls to play. Also In attendance at these competitions was Y9 school girls who had recently been through the ECB Young Leaders Course, an important step in ensuring the development of the girl’s game is sustainable. Ormskirk CE Primary School went onto win the County and North of England Kwik Cricket Competitions and enjoyed a highly competitive day at the National Finals.
Club and District success has followed that of the school teams as West Lancashire remains unbeaten in the Lancashire District Girls Cricket Partnership Competition at all age groups and Ormskirk CC won the County Lady Taverners Competition and represented the County at the North of England Finals. Many of these girls are also playing competitive club cricket in the Southport & District Junior Cricket League.
The 2011 season has also seen West Lancashire field a Women’s team in the LWCA League giving women and girls of all age the chance the play cricket. It is hoped that fixtures will take place in the later stages of the summer.
Efforts are now being made to ensure the high number of girl cricketers within the borough is maintained. Chance 2 Shine will hopefully continue to have an impact and the West Lancashire Cricket Development Group has recently appointed Steve Dickinson as the Women’s & Girls Coordinator for the area as the District again plans for a busy 2012 winter / summer programme.
James Cutt, Lancashire Cricket Boards Development Coach for West Lancs commented: “Steve has worked closely with me and our clubs for a long time now and his commitment, organisation and enthusiasm is fantastic. Having a local person so dedicated to the girl’s game is great for us as we look to the future.”
The show piece event this summer in West Lancashire will be a Girls Only MCC Spirit of Cricket Summer Camp on the 25th and 26th August at Burscough Cricket Club, 2 days of fun with girls having the opportunity to receive coaching from current England Cricketers.
Click on Image Gallery on the right for pictures of the successful girls programmes in West Lancashire.