Last week saw the fourth year of the Cricket Leinster run U11 Girls Camp. Each year we have run a 3 day camp at low cost to the parents (only €35pp) followed by a fourth day which is completely free. This final day has always run as a small game of pair cricket, even though the numbers have risen each year, it was never enough to play a blitz. Until this year! The numbers increased from 15 to 29 so the kids were split up into four teams – Ireland, England, Bangladesh and Australia (names chosen by the kids).
Last year we added an U13 Girls Camp in the afternoons, after the U11s, and it went quite well for its first year. We had 15 girls attend. Due to the good feedback in 2016, this year we decided to go for it again and had similar numbers. All days for both camps and the blitz day included a free t-shirt with thanks to Women In Sport funding from Sport Ireland, printed by The Logo Shop in Lucan.
We hope to continue events like this that don’t have any cost barriers to parents and are open to all abilities, even beginners. This we hope will encourage girls to continue to play cricket in clubs as they get to experience the game with their peers. Unfortunately, not every club have enough girls to make youth teams and many of the girls play on boys teams. This is very good for their cricket as it is generally at a good standard, however, research shows that girls that play with their own peers will stay playing sport longer.
The Irish Sports Monitor does show that we have increased from the ERSI’s 2005 finding of 1 in 5 up to 1 in 3 in 2013 of Irish women meeting the National Activity Guidelines of 30 minutes of moderate/vigorous activity for at least 5 days a week. Cricket Leinster are dedicated to continue to help grow these numbers through cricket activities like these camps.