Cricket in Sussex: It's booming - particularly for women

Cricket participation in Sussex has grown across all ages, genders and abilities in the past year, according to the county’s cricket foundation.

Cricket participation in Sussex has grown across all ages, genders and abilities in the past year, according to the county’s cricket foundation.

Sussex Cricket Foundation has released an impact report which shows uptake in community cricket in the county throughout the past 12 months.

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Notably, women’s cricket saw a rise in participation, with 61 clubs running women’s and girls’ programmes.

Three Bridges CC is one of many cricket clubs in Sussex where the women's and girls' game is thriving

Sussex Cricket Community Director Gary Wallis-Tayler said: “I am proud of all our achievements this year. It has been an incredible 12 months.

“Recreational cricket in Sussex has never been stronger. It has been amazing to see participation growth across the game despite the ongoing challenges everyone has faced.

“As we look ahead to 2022, we must continue the momentum to inspire the next generation of cricketers and continue to connect with our communities, both of which are key priorities for Sussex Cricket.”

The report showed that over 12,000 children took part in Chance to Shine programmes delivered by Foundation coaches.

There were record numbers signed up to national programmes such as All Stars and Dynamos.

Women’s softball cricket festivals saw record participation following the increased exposure women’s cricket has had.

Sussex Cricket chief executive Rob Andrew added: “It has been an extraordinary year for Sussex Cricket Foundation and all who work so hard to promote cricket across all our communities in the county.

“Following the outstanding work in 2020 to keep cricket on as the pandemic hit, 2021 has seen the community department go from strength to strength with all areas of the game thriving in Sussex.

“There are so many areas covered in this report highlighting the amazing work of our Foundation team and I would ask you to take a few minutes to take in the breadth of our work and support us where you can to help grow our programmes.

“It feels unfair to pick out any areas over another but we have focused hard on our work in disability cricket, girls’ and women’s cricket, and our two urban plans in Brighton and Crawley. We are also very proud of our work with Sporting Memories, ‘In the bag’ with the Brighton Food Partnership, and our Sussex Cricket Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub.

“Thank you to everyone for hard work on our programmes and the support you have continued to give us through the pandemic.

“We are looking forward to building on this in 2022.”

In disability cricket, four community clubs have become Sussex’s first-ever ‘disability champion clubs’ – Ansty, Polegate and Stone Cross, Buxted Park and Middleton.

DIScoverABILITY Day returned to the County Ground in September after being cancelled in 2020 in the coronavirus pandemic. The event involved 300 participants and 60 volunteers.

The Foundation also launched the Urban Cricket Plan in Brighton and Crawley. Working with the ECB, they supported the refurbishment of existing indoor facilities in the county.

Initiatives were also aimed at older community members, with Walking Cricket and Sporting Memories making their return.

The full report can be read via a link from this story on our Sussex World website.