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Lancashire Cricket Board - Lottie Inspires Women & Girls in Bolton
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Lottie Inspires Women & Girls in Bolton

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Chance to Shine Ambassador Charlotte Edwards managed to fit, in-between preparations for the upcoming T20 World Cup a visit to Bolton, St Catherine’s Academy last week (21 February).

The session was set up to give females in the County a chance to meet an England Player, be coached under her and hopefully inspire the next generation of club, county and international cricketers.

Lottie, as Charlotte is known by, had to multitask at times as we had reporters and photographers in and around the session including a radio interview for Bolton FM looking at the upcoming T20 World Cup, local International player Kate Cross and the activity in Bolton for female cricketers.

We had 20 young girls under the age of 11 attending in the morning session where we covered some key fielding skills, team play and batting. Charlotte even demonstrated her technique to our on looking young batters. They practiced their front foot play as well as moving on to hitting down the ground against slower bowling, something that is key in the women’s game. We finished the session with a game where the youngsters could show off their newly learnt batting skills along with taking those all important wickets with their bowling. The girls then had the chance to ask Lottie some questions and have their photo taken with the Ashes trophy! Lots of smiling faces left after 2 and half hours of fun packed cricket, not just the girls but parents as well!

The afternoon saw older girls and women get the chance to meet our Ashes star. With players from ages 12 up to 38 we had a great range of ages to challenge each other and allowed plenty of learning across the group. A pretty special net session was the main focus of the afternoon with Charlotte offering hints and tips to both bowlers and batters. Not only did they pick up some tips but some lucky players got the chance to bat against the England captain.

The underpinning message behind all of the work we did during the day was to introduce women and girls to a role model, inspire some players to take the game further and for those who are on the county ladder to keep making steps forward. Through work at Astley Bridge CC there will be a women’s side and an Under 10 girls side at the club to provide women and girls of Bolton the chance to play competitive cricket as well as enjoying the social aspects of the game. Any women or girls, of any age and ability who want to just have a go at cricket should contact Astley Bridge CC through Vikas Pai

Jennifer Laycock, Women and Girls Officer, commented: "We had a wide range of abilities at the session which is great to see. I’m keen to see our county girls progress further and develop as players. We need to continue to develop the grassroots game and introduce new players to the game. Cricket has many preconceptions and we as a county need to open more doors for women to experience the game. I hope by utilising international role models, as well as ensuring different forms of the game are available we can create a buzz around grassroots women's cricket in Lancashire."

There has been some excellent news and coverage of cricket for women and girls in Bolton recently, with Kate Cross recently launching a new girls initiative for the borough in a joint venture between Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, Lancashire Cricket Board and Bolton Council. We hope as a result of all this that cricket for women & girls in the area of Bolton continues to develop with more females taking up the game.

The LCB would like to thank all the women and girls that attended the day, St Catherine's in Bolton, Chris Highton the Cricket Development Co-ordinator in Bolton and particulary to Chance to Shine who made it possible for their Ambassador Charlotte Edwards to be present.

To read more on this from Bolton St Catherine's Academy click here.

To read more on this from The Bolton News click here.

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