THE women's section at Ipplepen Cricket Club are gearing up for a busy season in 2019 with a program of indoor nets offering a launch pad for the club's newly formed women's hardball team to participate in a national T20 competition.
At least a dozen players have already signed up for the sessions to be held on Wednesday evenings 7pm to 8pm at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School. Sessions will be led by captain and level two coach Zoe Aspinall. Sessions start on Wednesday, February 27 and run for five weeks before outdoor training starts in mid-April.
Women's and girls cricket has been an on-going project at Ipplepen for nearly 10 years. What started as a group of around 15 mixed-age girls playing softball cricket on a Monday evening, has now developed to a point where the club anticipates having over 50 female playing members – adult and junior – spread across hardball and softball cricket next season.
The majority of adult players for the hardball team have been recruited through the DCB's Wine and Wickets scheme. Participants have seen their interest in the game develop from a social gathering playing Kwik Cricket while their children took part in junior coaching, through to having their own focussed hardball coaching sessions both indoors and outdoors.
The women's team have spent two seasons combining participation in softball festivals with a smattering of hardball friendly matches. The 2019 calendar will continue to offer a mixture of hardball and softball matches to meet the range of interest levels amongst the players – and will feature a first ever foray into an official competition with participation in the ECBs Vitality Club T20 Plate competition for women's teams.
Girls’ hardball cricket is far more established at Moor Road, with the club having been regular entrants into the South Devon Youth Cricket League girls’ leagues for the past six seasons. A number of teenage players who have cut their teeth through girls’ age group cricket are now emerging into the women's team and will be important parts of the group in 2019.
Keith Wakeham, Ipplepen’s new chairman, said the club could be proud of the advances made by girls’ and women’s cricket.
He added: “The recent involvement of Zoe Aspinall, Anna Lodge and Justine Sutton provides us with some great people to run a women's team.
“It is a great achievement to be able to confidently enter an official competition knowing we will have enough players and officials to fulfil fixtures."
"It is also fantastic for our army of younger girls that they will have their own adult team to look up to – and eventually to play for as they get older and progress beyond junior age group teams.”
The women’s group is now on the look out for new players – especially those with previous experience of playing hardball cricket – as well as those new to the sport.
Indoor training sessions at TBGS start on Wednesday, February 27 (7-8pm) costing approximately £4 per player. Players must be aged 13 and above to participate in adult women's cricket.
Outdoor training sessions for women and girls of all ages will begin in mid-April. More details of times and dates of those sessions will be confirmed nearer the time.
For more information about women’s cricket at Ipplepen CC contact Lodge on 07967 810911 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information is also available on the club website www.pitchero.com/clubs/ipplepen