A group of school girls who only started playing cricket thanks to the satellite club initiative are set to follow in the footsteps of the England Women’s team this afternoon (Monday 19 June).
Year 8 pupils from Aston Academy (Rotherham – pictured) and King Ecgbert School (Sheffield) will go head-to-head in the final of the CricketKidz Cricket League in the interval of England vs. Sri Lanka in Chesterfield as the two nations prepare for the Women’s Cricket World Cup being held in England and Wales this summer.
Satellite clubs are extensions of community sports clubs which can offer a different sporting experience for young people. They are different because they bring sport out to young people in very local venues and because they may attract young people who are not typically very sporty.
Satellite clubs are run by established sports clubs who bring their expertise and enthusiasm to local places where young people already meet. Together they create a satellite club that offers sport in the way that these young people want to receive it.
The sessions at each of the schools have been run in partnership with CricketKidz and Treeton Cricket Club, with a number of the girls taking their new-found love for the sport to join the club itself.
“Thanks to the funding received from Yorkshire Sport Foundations we were able to set up a girls cricket hub for Treeton CC at Aston Leisure Centre,” said Kevin Gresham from CricketKidz.
“This club was well attended allowing us to expand this to Handsworth Grange School Sports Hall in the winter months. This has allowed us to offer playing opportunities to girls in the Sheffield and Rotherham area that they would not normally have, which has in turn led to us seeing more than 20 girls at Treeton CC summer training nights. One girl started playing the game through the hub and is now representing Yorkshire. Without the funding all this would not have been possible.”
Holly Page, a teacher at Aston Academy, commented: “This partnership has been extremely successful as our girls have had the opportunity to participate in cricket sessions both during curriculum time and also extra curricular. We have between twenty and thirty students participating on a weekly basis and because of this our students have been able to compete at both a local and regional level.
“Lastly this partnership has enabled our students to access a pathway from School Sport to Club and County Cricket which is brilliant.”
“The girls only sessions have given the pupils the confidence to join in where they otherwise may have felt uncomfortable to do so,” added Daisy Freeston, a teacher at King Ecgberts.
“I have seen pupils who have previously been unable to access cricket due to mixed gender sessions or lack of organised tournaments, coming and thoroughly enjoying the sport.
“Through their participation in the sessions pupils have had the opportunity to be involved in two tournaments where they have played against other schools in Sheffield. The pupils have thoroughly enjoyed representing their school, learning new skills and socialising with other pupils in a friendly and encouraging environment. A big thank you to CricketKidz from all the pupils involved at King Ecgbert School.”