Grant boost for girls’ cricket

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Watch out boys – here come the girls!

The Community Foundation for Lancashire has awarded a grant of over £1,300 to the Cricket Development Group in the Ribble Valley, which will enable more girls in the area to experience the game.

The Ribble Valley CDG has seven member clubs - Chatburn, Clitheroe, Longridge, Read, Ribblesdale Wanderers, Salesbury and Whalley - and operates under the sponsorship of the Lancashire Cricket Board.

The 26 CDGs in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside are also members of the Lancashire Girls District Cricket Partnership, which has been formed to encourage the development of girls cricket from junior school to County squad level.

It’s a feather in the cap of the Ribble Valley that the Lancashire ladies captain is Jenny Laycock from Read, who coached the Ribble Valley girls in 2009 before becoming Community Coach for the Fylde CDG.

The Ribble Valley girls cricket development job passed to Derrick Smith from Salesbury CC, who, with Bill Smith from Clitheroe CC, managed the teams during a reasonably successful 2010 season.

The Ribble Valley Girls Under 11 team topped the table against Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale, reaching the County final of their competition which, due to bad weather, will be played in April this year. The Under 13 Girls were severely rain-affected, competing in only one festival but coming a creditable second.

The objective in 2011 is to continue the development of younger girls, but also to introduce an Under 15s team.

The Community Foundation for Lancashire grant will support this, providing funding for equipment and rental of sports halls for indoor coaching and competitions.

On Tuesday, March 1st at Oakhill Academy, Whalley, there will be an inter-schools indoor cricket competition for Years 8, 9 and 10 girls from Bowland, Clitheroe Grammar, Ribblesdale and St. Augustines. After the competition, the girls will have the chance to meet Jenny Laycock.

On Saturday, March 5th, again at Oakhill, the first of five sessions will be held for girls who would like to try out for the District Under 15s

On Tuesday, April 5th at Oakhill, eight Under 15 girls representing the Ribble Valley will take on teams from Burnley and South Ribble in an indoor competition as a final warm-up before the girls are able to start outdoor practice for the 2011 season.

Meanwhile, development sessions will be held for aspiring Under 11 and Under 13 players alongside the Under 15s on Saturdays in March so that they too can be ready for the coming season.

For further information contact Tom Bamber, Sports Development Officer, Ribble Valley BC (01200 414553/tom.bamber@ribblevalley.gov.uk