In 2018, Walmley ran two age group teams for girls.
What do the girls gain from playing cricket at Walmley?
Girls from year 1 to year 6 play in the younger age group. This works really well as all the girls are very much included and part of the team from the start. Players new to the club, new to league games and new to festivals can and do make significant contributions to the team. The more senior players really embrace their young teammates, supporting them and guiding them in both matches and festivals.
The friendly and supportive atmosphere at Walmley allows the girls’ confidence to improve. They welcome new members, are always congratulating each other on individual achievements, work well together as a team and celebrate together which basically seems to involve lots of piggy backs around the pitch! The older girls become role models for the younger girls. The captaincy is rotated throughout the season, with emphasis on allowing the girls more responsibility to work out their game strategies and motivation of their team. The younger players assist with the coin toss and the cheers, allowing them to also develop and gain confidence and understanding of the game. They make new friends. In 2018, the girls’ bond and strength drew lots of praise and admiration from other team managers and parents: How well the girls play as a team, their behaviour and sportsmanship towards other teams – always well-mannered polite and fair.
The younger team also has a team mascot, Phoenix the Sloth, that star players get to take home after the match. The star player of the match is also encouraged to write about their achievement and time together with Phoenix in pictures.
What competitions do they play in?
In 2018 the U11 Phoenix team, which includes girls in year 1 to year 6, played in pairs cricket using a Windball and no pads or helmets. They played in the Walmley Mini-League, Girls U11 Warwickshire Festivals, and the South Staffordshire and District U10’s League 2nd division. Phoenix won the Plate in the Mini-League. The South Staffordshire and District U10’s League consists of U10 boys, but girls are allowed to play up to age 11 unless they play for the County. This ruled out two of our girls. In the early games, the girls were beaten convincingly by some strong teams, but they improved so much during the season that they got within 3 runs of beating one of those teams later on in the season. The advantage of playing pairs cricket is that all girls are involved in the match, allowing each girl to make an important contribution to the game.
The older team, the U13s, played in both the U13 Warwickshire Girls Hardball Cricket League and the Burton and District U11 Pairs League South.
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