On Tuesday 16th April a member and former member of the England women’s cricket team visited Denbigh to coach a group of Year 9 girls.
Lydia Greenway and Beth Morgan visited the school as part of their role as ‘Chance to Shine Ambassadors’, an initiative funded by the Cricket Foundation which helps to raise the profile of cricket and encourage young people to take up the sport by funding coaching sessions in schools.
Yesterday’s visit, in association with Bedfordshire Cricket, was specifically aimed at encouraging girls to take up the sport.
When asked about the visit, Cricket Development Officer for Bedfordshire Cricket, Will Sneath, said:
“We are trying to raise the profile of cricket in the county and this event is specifically for women and girls because there are not many women’s or girls teams in the county so we are trying to start clubs in schools and then hopefully this will lead on to having a few clubs that can play against each other and then lead on from that.”
In 2011 Lydia Greenway was named as the ‘ECB Women’s Cricketer of the Year’ and is widely recognised as the best fielder in the women’s game. She has also been named the player of the series on two occasions, firstly during the NatWest Women’s ODI Series against New Zealand and then again in the T20I Series against Australia, as England beat the then ICC world champions 4-1.
Lydia, who is currently part of the women squad for the 2013 World Cup in India said:
“We are at the international level so obviously we are at the top end of the sport but we are also Chance to Shine Ambassadors so we come into schools and get girls particularly to start playing the game so it is quite refreshing to see people who have not played cricket before just giving it a go and it is quite rewarding being here today to see that a lot of the girls here are playing cricket already and therefore already at the bottom of the pyramid.”
Beth Morgan retired this year. The 31 year old won the women's Ashes with England, as well as the World Cup and World Twenty20 double in 2009.
Denbigh’s Head of PE, Andy Smith, said:
“Having the England female cricket stars visit Denbigh High School was a great privilege and it was an inspiring experience to watch them coaching the Year 9 girls. I know that the Year 9 girls really appreciated the England stars giving up their time to provide expert coaching and as the session unfolded the Denbigh pupils really took advantage of the experience. The visit was a great success and has motivated the girl’s to play more cricket at school in the future.”
The Year 9 Denbigh girls cricket team recently finished 2nd in the Girls Bedfordshire County Tournament.
At the end of the event Year 9 student, Marjan Begum, said:
“Receiving expert coaching from an England female player really improved my batting technique which I can now use in future practices and games.”
Year 9 student, Michela Locker, added:
“This was such a fantastic experience. The cricket stars were really good and the experience has motivated me to want to play more girls cricket in the future.”
The Year 9 girls with Beth Morgan (far left) and Lydia Greenway (far right).