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Gwent Girls

Youth Cricket in Gwent is completely ‘open’ throughout with girls able to play in all competitions.  The game is as much a girls’ game as it a boys’ with the only difference being in the ‘strength’ activities such as fast bowling and six-hitting which manifests itself as they move into adulthood. 

Gwent Girls was formed in 2003 and started playing initially at the U13 Colwall Festival. In 2008, for the first time, a team of girls was entered as Gwent Girls in the The Monmouthshire Building Society Youth Cricket League at Under 11 with the girls still being able to play in the mixed teams of their clubs. Two years later an Under 13 Gwent Girls team was added to the League.  However, while Gwent was producing a good number of talented girls the overall numbers playing were not enough at each club to set up all-girls teams.  In 2011 Newport CC took up the challenge to enter their own teams in the League.  As no other Club was doing this, most of the girls then gravitated to Newport CC so it was decided that Gwent Girls would withdraw from the League.

Also in 2011, the Welsh National League for teams from the Welsh Regions was introduced at Under 13 and Gwent were the inaugural champions going through the season unbeaten; a feat they repeated the following year.  In 2013, the Under 13s completed a hat-trick of national titles while the Under 15s were also Wales champions.  However, across Wales the take up of cricket by girls was very patchy and, even in Regions such as Gwent where talented players were being developed, there was not the 'critical mass' of players needed to make all-girls leagues a possibility.  So, in 2014, Cricket Wales made the decision to withdraw funding for girls cricket from the Regions and concentrate on running National Development Centres across Wales as a means to develop the game.

This meant the end of Gwent Girls as an entity but Newport CC has established itself as one of the premier clubs for girls cricket throughout the UK and, in 2014, were the Lady Taverners UK National Champions at both Under 13 and Under 15 Levels.  This year their Women's team reached the ECB Women's UK Club Finals.  Nearly all the girls and women involved started out as Gwent Girls.  Also, in 2016, 14 girls, who play their cricket in Gwent, represented Wales at age groups from Under 12 to Under 17 while three who played for Gwent Girls back in 2008 - Georgia Parfitt, Nicole Reid and Charlotte Scarborough - were chosen to take part in the England Women's U15 Development Programme.

So for any girl who has the enthusiasm, talent and commitment there is a clear pathway to enable her to fulfil her potential.  The first step is to join a local club where she can learn and play in a 'mixed' environment.  If then she has aspirations to play for the Wales age group teams parents should contact Ted Tipper at gwentyouthcricket@btinternet.com.  Also, If she would like to play in an all-girls team please contact the Newport CC head coach Mike Knight at mike.knight2@ntlworld.com.

 

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