Cricket: Ambassadors aim to bowl maidens over

By Luke Balvert

Numbers are booming for New Zealand Women's Cricket and they hope their latest initiative will see an even bigger spike in numbers this summer.

The New Zealand Cricket Women's Roadshow, along with White Fern members Sarah McGlashan and Kate Broadmore, bowled into town yesterday to encourage girls to become involved in the sport.

McGlashan and Broadmore visited Katikati College, Tauranga Primary School and Aquinas College to help teach valuable cricketing skills and discuss their own cricketing experiences to girls between Years 5-8.

McGlashan, who is also the women's development manager at New Zealand Cricket, said the roadshow, which is in its second year, was an exciting opportunity for White Ferns like herself and Broadmore to visit schools and give it a go with the children.

"What we really want to do on this trip is to inspire the girls who are already playing to continue doing so and attract girls who aren't playing to give it a go.

Over the past month, the roadshow and members of the White Ferns have visited various regions the length of the country to help promote the game alongside more mainstream female sports, such as netball.

With the roadshow aimed just at girls, it helped give everyone a bit more confidence away from the watchful eye of boys, McGlashan said.

She said the roadshow catered for all levels of cricket, where it was about getting different areas of the country to engage with the sport.

"It depends on the age group and what's happening in the region. We just have to adjust for the different environments.

"The opportunities are there if they are keen on their cricket and want to give it a go."

McGlashan said cricket had provided many opportunities for herself and her team mates, but because of a lack of promotion it was up to them to let young players know they could, too.

"The more people who get involved, the better things are going to get for women's cricket in New Zealand.

"The options for kids out there are never ending. There are so many different sports they have at school today, it's huge."

Watching the children take part at Tauranga Primary School, McGlashan said every little bit counted towards helping increase future women's cricket numbers.

"If it means girls play it at school or at home it's just as important."

Tauranga Primary School sports co-ordinator Jo Taele said she was pleased to have the players here after the school's cricket coach Jason White organised the visit. Ms Taele said the school had integrated the roadshow into their sports rotation to get all 200 Years 5-6 involved.

"All the girls and boys will benefit from this. It will be really cool and we are really excited to have them here."

Three Bay of Plenty players have been named to play in the Northern Spirit warm-up game against Auckland this Sunday.

Current Spirit player Anna Peterson along with Tia Robinson and Joanna Taris will be in action in the pre-season hit out. Robinson and Taris, along with Kate Anderson, Sarah Steenson, Anna Henson and Jacinta Coleman (if fit), have been named in the ND Women's Development trial to be played on November 11 in Hamilton.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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