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Club Celebrates Girls and Womens Cricket in Hertfordshire

A Celebration of Girls’ and Women’s Cricket in Hertfordshire and the Soroptimist Audrey Collins Legacy Project 

The St Albans and District Soroptimists held an inspirational evening to celebrate Girls’ Cricket in Hertfordshire and the impact of the Soroptimist Audrey Collins Legacy Project 2009 – 2017. We heard about opportunities for development in Womens and Girls cricket locally as part of our planning for Phase 2 of the Soroptimist Audrey Collins Legacy Project. The finale of the event was the  presentation of the Soroptimist Audrey Collins U13 League Trophy for 2017 to the winning team – Harpenden Cricket Club.  Please see the pic below.

We heard from John Mihil and the girls of Harpenden Cricket Club about the joys and challenges of Girls’ club cricket. Sam Rose from Cricket East told us about Girls’ and Women’s cricket in Hertfordshire. Claire Hobson gave us a both a coach and player’s perspective. We were also thrilled to welcome Amy Price, the Herts Ladies Captain (pictured above in the front row second from the right).

John told us how passionate he is about girls’ cricket he said “it get’s under your skin”. He said the key to success is getting enough girls involved and keeping it fun and engaging – helping the girls to feel that “winning is fun!”. Caitlin (proudly holding the shield) has been playing since she was 7 – she laughed when she told us how she had beaten the boys and smiled widely when she told us what great friends she has made through the sport. Sam said that he is proud of the growth in women’s cricket in Herts and valued programmes like “Chance to Shine” and “This Girl Can”. There is work underway to replace rounders with cricket at schools which will really help to promote this championship sport.  Amy took us back to when she was 9 years old and bowled the boys out – an achievement she is rightly proud of to this day! Amy has played at Lords, Barbados, is a Member of the MCC and is looking forward to leading the forthcoming Hertfordshire Ladies tour to Sri Lanka. She inspired us with her energy and enthusiasm for the sport – she said “I love leading the girls on the pitch” and “playing cricket has made me who I am today”. Claire’s perspective is different because she came to the sport late and like all the other speakers she is passionate about cricket. She is one of the very few female coaches in the county and runs the Hemel Hempstead Girls team as well as being mother to two players in the Herts County Ladies side. She explained the importance of clubs working together as Hemel does with Abbots Langley CC to maintain teams and of good coaching and training to keep girls playing. Sports like cricket are so important in getting women and girls active.

The group photo is of all of all guests and Members on the night giving the OK sign – we say it’s more than OK – they are all amazing! The other photo above is of Sophie, Rachael, Caitlin and Lucy from the Harpenden Girls’ team receiving the Soroptimist Audrey Collins Under 13’s Herts Girls’ Cricket shield and trophy from Linda Shall, Soroptimist International St Albans and District President-Elect (with Sally Bear the Club’s mascot – she gets everywhere!).

During the evening we collected £55 for “Cricket without Boundaries” – an inspirational UK registered charity working in sub-Saharan Africa. Cricket Without Boundaries uses cricket as a focus for community development and as a vehicle for delivering messages about health and social issues such as HIV and FGM. Gender equality is a fundamental development objective of the charity and in 2017 51% of the children they worked with were girls.
After the main part of the evening, when the guests had departed, Club Members discussed the way forward for the next phase of the Soroptimist Audrey Collins legacy project. Audrey left the Club £1000 when she died which has funded the project for 7 years. Last year the Club received an anonymous donation of £2000 which enables us to plan for the future phase of the project – watch this space!
To read more about Audrey (pictured here) and the Club’s legacy project in her honour please click on this page on our website on this page there are also links to all the Club’s news items about the project so far…