18 teams celebrate a wonderful end to the softball cricket season

Women's Softball Cricket 2018

As another season draws to a close, it's a great time to reflect on a wonderful year for women's softball cricket in Staffordshire as hundreds of new ladies have played the game, loved it, and come back for more!

The season started with plans to run 9 festivals across the county and one big festival at the end of the season in the centre of the county to bring all of the women together and giving them a chance to play teams that they previously hadnt.

Festivals began in May at Caverswall and Milford with 13 teams taking part, a great start to the year! The weather was glorious and the ladies had such a great time that they started to spread the word amongst friends, family and work colleagues and the numbers quickly increased, with some teams going from have 8 ladies to 24.

The success continued into June and July, and so did the lovely warm weather! More teams were entering and at one festival in Penkridge, 12 team entered, many of whom were having their first taste of cricket and they couldnt get enough of it. 

Cricket was obviously the reason that the ladies came along to these festivals, but the family friendly atmosphere that was created by all of the host clubs was the reason that they continue to play. As a mum of three, Vanessa Atherton previously found taking part in sport on a regualr basis a challenge, but these festivals have changed that. 'I have attended these festivals for two seasons now and love the fact that my whole family can come along and support. They are out in the fresh air, safe and able to watch me play or they just go off and play with a bat and ball themselves. The clubs that host do a brilliant job and make us all feel very welcome, the kids love it'.

As we approached the tail end of the season, we began to organise the final festival of the year which was designed to bring as many teams together from across the county as we could. Previous festivals were placed where we felt that we could encourage more teams to play, without them having to travel long distances. Fordhouses was the host club, and having two grounds meant that we could take large numbers of teams without compromising on pitch sizes. It was always a risk though, due to the travel distance for some teams in the extreme north and south of the county.

We neednt have worried, 18 teams travelled from every corner of the county to play in this wonderful festival, which showcased just how much we have all achieved in the last year. 32 teams have taken part this season and over 320 women, ranging in ages from 14 to 74. 

Club and Community Development Manager Jenny Moore has been overwhelmed with the response this season, 'whilst the numbers that we are seeing playing the game are increasing, for me, the most significant change is the number of young girls that we see at these festivals, either watching their mum's, or beggining to play for the first time. We are changing the way that young girls view our game and having worked in sport for almost 20 years, this change is huge. Girls are no longer thinking that cricket is just for boys, they see their mum's or sisters taking part each month and want to get involved to. It is an absolute pleasure to see how this has grown and we hope that interest continues over the winter period'.

'What's also great to see is women making the transition to hardball club cricket. Many ladies have played this season in the men's team and some have asked about their nearest womens harball team, and so they have been signposted to the most convenient one for them'.

If you are interested in getting involved in these festivals then please email enquiries@staffordshirecricket.co.uk and we will be happy to help you find the ones that are right for you.

Posted on Monday 24th September 2018, in Latest News