On Thursday 23rd November, Western Storm professional cricketer Mollie Robbins visited the recently launched Girls Wicketz Hub at The Park Centre, Knowle.
The session started with a Q&A in which the girls asked Mollie everything from how she first started in cricket, to what her favourite food was. Burgers, if you were wondering. The girls then had the opportunity to show off their bowling skills with a hit the stumps bowling challenge. A catching game and a round of hurdles cricket followed, with some brilliant shots played and excellent teamwork from all.
What they said
Mollie Robbins, Western Storm Professional:
“It was brilliant to see the girls with bat and ball in hand enjoying the sport, and all of the teamwork and camaraderie that it comes with. We’re still behind the trend in terms of catching up with the boys. Girls only provision like this is only going to increase numbers of girls at grassroots level, which will feed into more women involved in cricket which will have a knock on effect in the professional game.”
Joe Tett, local primary school teacher, added:
“We’ve been involved with Wicketz since it launched in 2017. It gives the idea that cricket is inclusive for everybody, it’s not just about a select few. What we’ve seen in the last seven years is a massive uptake in both boys and especially girls getting involved with cricket, in a sport that they perhaps would not have thought was for them. Some sports can be exclusive, because they do require certain kit, or they need parents to be able to transport them around. The idea that it’s free, centrally based in the community at The Park Centre, and all kit is provided; it doesn’t matter what your social or financial background is.”
One of our participants said:
“It was great to have a session with Mollie and get her experience and knowledge. It really made my day.”
About the Girls Hub
In response to the growing interest in cricket from girls in the community, Wicketz Bristol has been providing a safe space for girls aged between 8 – 16 to have fun and enjoy playing soft ball cricket. The girls only hub has been running since September 2023 where it offers free weekly sessions every Thursday from 5:00pm – 6:00pm to young female cricketers all year round.
Sam Emmott, Wicketz Development Manager, added:
“We held a girls only residential at Repton College, Derbyshire, last summer. It brought girls participating in Wicketz hubs across the country together for a few days. What we discovered at the residential was the importance for the girls to have that safe space. This was something identified from the girls themselves. They spoke about some of the pressures they faced when playing in mixed environments too. There are limited sporting opportunities for them in their communities where they feel they can express themselves. Since we’ve launched the hub back in September this year we’ve had a slow but steady growth, but it’s so important that they have this opportunity.”
One of the Parents continued:
“Being able to play all year round is a real bonus, it being local makes it so much easier to get to. The organisation of sessions is brilliant and the activities are fun, varied and inclusive.”
Inspiring the Next Generation
Interested in supporting the next generation of cricketers? Get in touch. At Wicketz, we are always on the lookout for more community volunteers, role models and coaches. In return, we can support with funding and access to formal qualifications, development opportunities and mentoring.
One of our regular participants said:
“I would like to thank Sam in particular, I find Wicketz really fun , exciting and a good way to make friends. I feel more confident in myself and I like the teamwork”
What is the Wicketz Programme?
Wicketz is a free community cricket programme funded by the Lord’s Taverners. Aimed at young people from underserved communities, it provides them with a safe space to play cricket and learn life skills. Through building sustainable hubs within local communities, the programme provides free weekly sessions, holiday festivals, and connects with other Wicketz projects across the country at the residentials. All equipment is provided at sessions. Beginners are encouraged!