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Over 200 Girls Inspired by Cricket

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Over 200 Girls Inspired by Cricket

International female Role Models inspire the next generation of female cricketers in Lancashire.

Over 200 girls had the opportunity to attend sessions run and supported by England Women's cricketers Charlotte Edwards and Danielle Hazell.

Charlotte Edwards (Kent & England Women Captain) and Danielle Hazell (Yorkshire & England Women) spent 2 days visiting schools and delivering community sessions to local girls and coaches. Over the 2 days over 200 girls were inspired by the International players who are Chance to Shine Ambassadors.

Day 1

England Chance to Shine Ambassadors Visit St Helens

Youngsters from local primary schools got the chance of a life time when the England Women’s Cricket Captain Charlotte Edwards came to St. Helens to coach them cricket skills and conduct a talent identification session. Charlotte was accompanied by fellow England Cricketer Danielle Hazel as they also signed autographs and spoke about the forthcoming Women’s Ashes Tour starting next month. They also dropped into a Sportivate Girls session at Rainford High School where they delivered a coaching session and took questions from pupils and teachers.

They both spoke about the successful coaching sessions delivered by Lancashire Cricket Board’s Development Co-ordinator Chris Chambers which is supported by the Council's Sportivate programme and the England's Cricket Boards Chance To Shine Initiative. These coaching programmes have led to a number of girls representing Lancashire which includes Rebecca Cline, Olivia Horsfield and Ellie Threlkeld who has also represented England u15’s. Girls cricket in the area is going from strength to strength with the borough having a Women’s team who play in a Lancashire mid week league. Anyone is welcome to join the club and for training information please contact Gemma Harkness at Sports Development on GemmaWebster@sthelens.gov.uk.

The girls then headed over to Wellfield High School in Leyland where we had over 40 young girls booked on a coaching session followed by 40 coaches ready to learn some new drills and insights into coaching females.

Charlotte took the young players through their places in the warm up which consisted of ladders, hurdles, sprints and lots of cones! The girls enjoyed themselves and felt quite proud of their efforts when they completed it especially when Charlotte informed them that the England Women often use this as a warm up themselves. The girls then split up into different groups in order to complete some fielding basics. These basic skills are what the England Girls ensure they can do initially and then they will enhance them by adding pressure or increasing the speed. Charlotte Edwards took the older girls and showed them the finer details of the sweep shot, a key shot in the female game and give them some top tips for playing it. Danielle Hazell took the younger group and went through batting basics and key areas to develop as a batter. The girls had a great time and had chance at the end to ask questions and get that all important photo!

The coaches were next up and had plenty of questions to ask the 2 stars. This group were less enthusiastic to join in the warm up but by the time the fielding drills and games were introduced we had to limit the numbers! A key learning point for the coaches regarding gaining interest from young females and making sure they feel 'safe' to try new things and make mistakes. The coaches embarked on some fielding drills that were new to them followed by 4 mini games that broke down some of the key skills in cricket but engaged the full group and gave the coaches some ideas. Overall the group learnt lots of new drills and some key areas to work on with their groups of girls back at clubs or schools.

Day 2

Day 2 started with some media attention and publicity for Women’s role models, the upcoming Ashes series and their visit in Blackburn schools that day. BBC Radio Lancashire, photographer from Lancashire Telegraph and a free lance journalist met us at QEGS Blackburn. Following the interviews Charlotte and Danielle headed for 2 year 7 girls classes. As QEGS is now a mixed school and will become a 'free' school from September it is important we build good links with the school especially due to the girls U10s and women’s side being formed at East Lancs Cricket Club which borders the QEGS school site. The year 7 girls had a great time, for many of them it was the first time they had experienced cricket.

Next up was Brookhouse Primary school in Blackburn and year 3 class. A very enthusiastic class who are quick learners and after just 1 session the previous week were super excited to meet the 2 stars. A fun filled, competitive session consisting of fielding skills and a game followed by opportunities for autographs went down well with year 3. Brookhouse are currently part of the Chance to Shine programme for girls only, with this is mind we run a girls only after school club.  Charlotte and Danielle took this session also and we had 20 girls from year 3 to 6 involved with learning to bowl for the first time followed by a hard hitting game.

Jen Laycock Women and Girls Officer commented on the visit 'Role models are vital in sport and even more so across female sport. The opportunities for female cricketers now as opposed to 10 years ago are huge. This visit has hopefully given some girls that inspiration to want to play at the top. It may have also inspired some young children to get into sport, any sport for the first time. Charlotte and Danielle were great with the players and their energy and passion for the game always comes across in their sessions. They worked across the whole pathway from primary school KS2 right through to the community session which included some County players. This opportunity through the Chance to Shine Programme is invaluable in creating energy among the young aspiring female cricketers.'

See link below to the media that went out to accompany the visit.

* Lancashire Telegraph report - Sports star in visit to Blackburn school

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