LADIES FIRST EVER MATCH
This week will see Spanish women take part in their first game of cricket for a long time. The match comes as a result of much hard work put into training and recruitment and is a great step for Spanish cricket, which at the start of the year had little or no women participating in the game.
Women’s coaching began in Spain in early March in Albir, with Shawn Kinnear, who had previous experience of coaching a women’s team in the UK, offering to do the training. After a few weeks a core of 4-6 ladies, most of whom had never picked up a cricket ball before, let alone a bat, were enthusiastically going through their paces.
By mid-May numbers had risen to between 6 and 8 ladies training each Sunday and the progress was really beginning to show. Interest in the training continued and, by the course broke for the summer, the sessions were averaging 8-12 ladies every week, of a range of ages from 13-60+.
Unfortunately, after the summer break, Shawn was unable to continue with the coaching and thankfully up stepped John Howden and Iain MacInnes to continue the good work that Shawn had begun. There are now around 10-15 ladies regularly training in Albir and it is hoped that early in 2007 the ladies will form a team and organise their first match.
In addition to the success in Albir, this month sees the beginning of women’s coaching in La Manga, which will be overseen by George Wambeek, Director of Cricket in Spain. There are also many ladies in the South keen to begin training, although unfortunately as of yet, there is no one willing to take on the coaching.
The women’s coaching was made all the more successful thanks to the equipment that was bought using the grant from the ICC. It is hoped that as the women continue to improve and grow in numbers they will receive more funding from other sources in the future.
In a report produced after the Spanish boards AGM, Claire Sunderland, Director of Women’s Cricket for Spain, concluded that she is both pleased and proud of the progress that women’s cricket has made in a relatively short time and she hopes to see this continue into next year