When a friend from football suggested we enter a team in Newcastle’s inaugural Sixers Women’s Social Cricket, I was torn between a feeling of not wanting to miss out and a feeling of self-doubt.
As the words of Joe the cameraman, “can’t bat, can’t throw”, rang through my headso did a distant memory of getting out at school for hitting my own wicket.
Both thoughts pretty much summed up my cricketing prowess.
I suggested I’d sign up onlyas an extra if they were really, really desperate.
Thenwhen my seven-year-old son informed me, “Girls don’t play cricket”, I felt it was almost my duty to take the field.
BIG HIT: The Women’s Big Bash League has played a key role in increasing the popularity of cricket with all family members. Picture: Getty Images
“If nothing else, Ican add it to my list of 40 Things To Be Fit At 40,” I thought to myself.
But I was still a little concerned that my cricketing skills, or the lack thereof, could make for some embarrassing moments.
Luckily, there appeared to be quite a few admissions of poor hand-eye coordination from some of my other teammates, who nonetheless thought “it sounds like a bit of fun” and decided they would also give it a go.
The social women’s competition will take on a T20 format and be played over five Sunday afternoonsstarting this weekend.
When itwas shared on social media I was surprised by how much interest in generated.
So were the organisers.
Newcastle cricket female participation officer Sharyn Beck described the response to competition as “incredible” andsaid it was“definitely filling a void”.
In all, 20 teamsand around 160 women, will take part. Ages range from 16 to 50 with strong numbers coming from the 30-45 age bracket.
The emphasis will be on fun and encouraging women to get moving, which I am all for because we live in an increasingly sedentary society.
The more options available for people of all ages and genders to get moving the better.
When I was growing up cricketwas a male-dominated sport.
Butthe popularity of the men’s and women’s Big Bash Leagues and the introduction of grassroots programs such as Milo in2Cricket, T20 Blasts and the Sixers and Thunders Cricket Leagues has made it a sport the whole family can play.
It means that now, my partner, myself, our seven-year-old son and four-year-olddaughter will all playsome form of cricket this summer. Whether it’s high-level competition or just social, we are all being active.
It is free to go and have a hit at the many cricket nets around town and cricket is great for kids to develop their fundamental movement skills through actions such as throwing and catching. There is also quite a bit of running around the field and between wickets.
Again, it is giving other options for people to get outside and get moving, in a supportive, non-threatening, family friendly environment.
I won’t set the world on fire with my cricket skills but I am expecting to have some fun, and also dispel some myths about girls not playing cricket.
Renee Valentine is a writer, qualified personal trainer and mother of three. [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au.
GETTING ACTIVE: A Newcastle girls sixers competition last year was received well. The inaugural women’s social sixers league will use a similar format. Picture: Marina Neil