New research from Chance to Shine and Yorkshire Tea
points to a revolution in girls’ attitudes and access to cricket – and highlights the vital role of schools in inspiring the next generation of girls to play and learn through the game.
On the eve of ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, a nationally-representative Kantar TNS survey of children aged 8-16 found that 44% of girls played cricket to some extent in the past year, the vast majority of whom played at school (36% of all girls). At the same time, almost one-third of girls say they have no opportunity to play in school, and many say that they want more opportunity and encouragement to play the game.
The nationally-representative Kantar TNS survey of 1,002 state-educated children aged 8-16 examined the proportion of students who played cricket in the last year, their attitudes to cricket as well as the ways to get them to playing the game.
Chance to Shine has given over 3 million children in 13,000 state schools the opportunity to play and learn through cricket – nearly half (46%) are girls – and many have taken part in this week’s Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week.
A recent survey of 1,213 female Chance to Shine participants confirmed the impact of a positive experience at school. 76% of girls surveyed were not playing cricket before Chance to Shine, but after participating 34% named it as one of their three favourite sports and more than 60% said they would like to join a local cricket club.
The Kantar TNS survey finds that the gap between girls and boys playing cricket reflects overall government sport participation statistics. One in three girls (31%) played cricket in PE this school year, compared with more than half of boys (56%); one in ten girls played for a school team compared with 22% of boys; and less than one in ten girls (7%) played at a local cricket club compared to 15% of boys. DCMS research has found that, for each form of competitive sport outside school, a consistently lower proportion of girls participate compared to boys (11% play for a sports team, for example, compared to 32% of boys) .
The survey also highlights that the gap between girls’ and boys’ participation widens in secondary schools. One in three secondary school girls aged 11-16 (32%) played cricket in PE this school year, compared with 60% of boys the same age; and one in ten secondary school girls played for a school team, compared with 27% of boys.
The Kantar TNS survey finds that the opportunity to play cricket both inside and outside school is a key enabler for girls to play the game. When asked who was most likely to make them want to play cricket, more than half (54%) of girls said their friends, while 16% said it would help if their family played with them and 15% said they would play if their teachers invited them to join a school team.
Former England World Cup winning captain and Chance to Shine Ambassador Charlotte Edwards said,
“We’ve seen a revolution in girls’ cricket over the course of my career. Organisations like Chance to Shine are helping to normalise cricket for girls, and their opportunities to play have improved beyond all recognition.
“More can always be done and I’m calling on all schools, particularly secondary schools, to give girls an equal opportunity to play cricket. I see a real appetite for the game from girls when I visit schools and the ICC Women’s World Cup on home soil is a huge chance for us to inspire them to pick up a bat and ball and give cricket a go.”
ECB Director of Women’s Cricket Clare Connor added,
“There’s never been a better time for girls to get involved in cricket and we’ve made massive progress in introducing more women and girls to the game.
“ECB recently doubled its investment in Chance to Shine, helping to introduce the sport to hundreds of thousands more primary school girls and boys, and this summer we have started a new ECB participation programme, with All Stars Cricket getting a bat and ball in the hands of 5-8-year-old girls and boys in a fun, welcoming environment.
“Women now have unprecedented opportunities in the game. The Kia Super League and the central contracts on offer for England’s women players mean that cricket is a viable career choice for the next generation of female players.
“The ICC Women’s World Cup also gives us all a great opportunity to excite and inspire girls to have a lifelong association with the game.
“There’s always more to be done and we need to make sure that girls continue to have the opportunity to play the game, throughout their time at school and beyond.”
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