Girls Cricket Club are very excited to announce that we have a new advisory board member, Gemma Barton! Gemma will no doubt contribute hugely to the advisory board, having plenty of experience and knowledge of the game.
We sat down with Gemma to discuss some of her previous experiences as well as future ambitions with Girls Cricket Club:
How did you become involved in cricket?
“My dad was a PE teacher so encouraged me to try lots of different sports as a child. I loved cricket from the very first session but unfortunately the opportunity to play in a girls’ team or be part of a pathway just didn’t exist. My parents were so supportive in attending meetings and writing letters to try and change the rules and ways of cricket locally, but things didn’t move quickly enough, I felt left out and stopped playing. Fast forward 25 years and I’m really pleased I’ve found my way back to cricket, through my children playing. Attenborough is such a welcoming club and within a few months, and the help of some dedicated and inclusive coaches, a Women and Girls softball section was set up. I passed my Level 1 in 2020 and now coach a group of 30 women and girls each week, as well as playing hardball in our newly established team.”
What do you love most about Cricket?
“There is no better sport in the world than cricket. I love the fact that it’s a mix of an individual and a team sport so you can learn and develop your own skills and play to your strengths, whilst working together on tactics, positioning and learning from others to make the team stronger. Because it is so inclusive, the friendships, fun, laughter, and respect that cricket on and off the pitch brings can’t be found anywhere else.”
What are three things you would most like to see improved within girls and/or women’s cricket?
- Specific Education – Currently coach education is written and delivered based on a men’s version of the game. Specific education for the women’s game, with more female tutors and mentors would have a huge impact on the knowledge, understanding and support given to women’s cricket.
- Raised Profile – More promotion of women and girls playing would create role models for all to aspire to. It would be amazing to see more of our high-level players, but also more of the recreational players and their stories to share experiences and show how inclusive cricket is.
- More collaboration – If all the organizations that are wanting to develop the women’s game worked together effectively, then we would have a greater influence to drive change and encourage more growth in the game. We need a loud voice for women and girls’ cricket that can’t be ignored.
What do you hope to achieve while being part of the advisory board?
“I hope to bring together my experience of sports development and passion for cricket to support the Girls Cricket Club to make significant changes to the way women and girls’ cricket is seen and delivered. The most important thing is that we work together to give more women and girls, more opportunities to have the best experience of cricket.”
What have you found to be your biggest challenge in Cricket?
“I’m very lucky to train and coach in such a supportive and inclusive club, however the ability to grow the women and girls’ section is limited due to lack of space such as getting time in the nets, getting space to train and play game on the main pitch and facilities such as dedicated changing rooms. I have the positive challenge of a rise in interest of lots of women and girls wanting to play but a lack of space, coaches and a multi-faceted player pathway in order to meet the growing demand.”
What advice would you give to young female cricketers?
“The best advice I could give to young female cricketers would be to be competitive on the pitch, show determination, resilience, and strength, but off the pitch throw the competitiveness to one side and collaborate. Girls supporting girls is the best way that your determination, resilience, and strength will grow and by working together you will learn more, get the best results and have the most impact.”
We’re really excited to welcome Gemma to the Girls Cricket Club Advisory Board and can’t wait to hear her new ideas for the club!