Exciting project by Sussex Cricket Foundation will see womens cricket grow in Crawley

As a town, Crawley has a lot of things going for it - but one things it hasn’t got is a women’s or girls’ cricket team.

And what makes that astonishing is that it has more men’s cricket teams for its geographical size than anywhere else in Sussex.

So the Sussex Cricket Foundation is taking action and the goal is to have female cricket teams playing competitively at the start of the 2022 season.

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The Foundation has been funded through the Tackling Inequalities funding from Active Sussex to run a Women and Girls’ project in the town and they will work with Three Bridges CC, Crawley Eagles CC and Ifield CC to develop women and girls’ sections at the club, but also to engage with new females into cricket.

Three Bridges, Ifield and Crawley Eagles are involved with the project

They are also running three Women & Girls Softball Cricket days at the club, as well as a Foundation Level 1 Coaching course for females in the area, which is fully booked. And Charlotte Burton, Women & Girls Development Officer at Sussex CCricket can’t wait to get working in the town with the first session starting on Monday (May 17).

Charlotte said: “Crawley has the most men’s team in a small geographical area than anywhere else in Sussex. There are a lot of clubs but there are no women’s and girls’ sections.

“It’s something we have tried to target over the years but have struggled. This funding is really going to help us and it’s an area we are really trying to crack.

“We know there are a lot of women and girls in Crawley so we want to engage with that area along with the South Asian community.”

The first takes place at Ifield Cricket Club (email [email protected]) on Monday May 17 6-8pm and runs for ten weeks.

The sessions at Three Bridges (contact Jo Pegley at [email protected]) start on Thursday May 20 - 6pm-7pm for 8-11 year olds and 7pm-8pm for 12+ and women - and they also run for ten weeks.

The Crawley Eagles (email [email protected]) sessions run for ten weeks from Sunday May 23 - 10am-11am for 8-11 year olds and 11am-12noon for 12+ year olds and 10am-12noon for women.

There will also be Softball Cricket Days at all three clubs - Ifield on Sunday May 23 2pm-6pm, Three Bridges on Thursday June 24, 6pm-8pm and Crawley Eagles on Sunday, July 11, 2pm-6pm.

The Foundation are also putting on a coaching course and that is already booked up. Charlotte said: “We only sent it out to the clubs in Crawley and within two days all bar one was sold out and all women in Crawley.

“Through that course they will come to our coaching sessions and be mentored by us so they can carry on once we are gone and continue to work with the women’s and girls’ sections at those clubs.”

This is the first project of this nature the Sussex Cricket Foundation has run. Charlotte said: “We have our Aldridge Foundation girls’ project in Brighton and Portslade linked in with the BACA pathway there. We have worked with St Peters CC and other clubs and we deliver coaching sessions at those clubs.

“It’s similar but this is the first project where we will be building three new clubs.”

And the goal is to get teams playing in leagues across Sussex. Charlotte said: “Hopefully the teams will enter some of the softball and hardball leagues and try to build sustainability within those clubs.

“Part of the project will be working in some of the mosques in the area and have had a great link with the ECB who have helped us with this. We want to deliver sessions for the women in the mosques as well as community engagement sessions. We are working with COGs, local charities and the council to deliver a joint venture to deliver women’s cricket and football in September.”

All the training sessions will be run the Foundations coaches and are FREE.

For more information on the Softball Cricket Days visit https://sussexcricket.co.uk/womens-softball-cricket