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Cricket for Girls in Gwent

Youth Cricket in Gwent is completely ‘open’ throughout with girls able to play in all competitions.  Gwent Girls was formed in 2003 and started playing initially at the U13 Colwall Festival. In 2008, for the first time, a team of girls was entered as Gwent Girls in the The Monmouthshire Building Society Youth Cricket League at Under 11 with the girls still being able to play in the mixed teams of their clubs. Two years later an Under 13 Gwent Girls team was added to the League.  However, while Gwent was producing a good number of talented girls the overall numbers playing were not enough at each club to set up all-girls teams.  In 2011 Newport CC took up the challenge to enter their own teams in the League.  As no other Club was doing this, most of the girls then gravitated to Newport CC so it was decided that Gwent Girls would withdraw from the League.

Also in 2011, the Welsh National League for teams from the Welsh Regions was introduced at Under 13 and Gwent were the inaugural champions going through the season unbeaten; a feat they repeated the following year.  In 2013, the Under 13s completed a hat-trick of national titles while the Under 15s were also Wales champions.  However, across Wales the take up of cricket by girls was very patchy and, even in Regions such as Gwent where talented players were being developed, there was not the 'critical mass' of players needed to make all-girls leagues a possibility.  So, in 2014, Cricket Wales made the decision to withdraw funding for girls cricket from the Regions and concentrate on running National Development Centres across Wales as a means to develop the game.

This meant the end of Gwent Girls as an entity but Newport CC has established itself as one of the premier clubs for girls cricket throughout the UK and, in 2014, were the Lady Taverners UK National Champions at both Under 13 and Under 15 Levels.  In 2013 the Newport Women's team were ECB Premier League National Champions and in 2017 were the South West Womens Premier League Champions and were UK National Runners-up. Nearly all the girls and women involved started out as Gwent Girls.  Also in 2017, Lauren Parfitt, a Gwent Girl from the age of 10, became a member of the Western Storm squad who were Champions of the Kia Super League that year.

So for any girl who has the enthusiasm, talent and commitment there is a clear pathway to enable her to fulfil her potential.  The first step is to join a local club where she can learn and play in a 'mixed' environment.  If then she has aspirations to play for the Wales age group teams parents should contact Ted Tipper at gwentyouthcricket@btinternet.com.  Also, If she would like to play in an all-girls team please contact the Newport CC head coach Mike Knight at mike.knight2@ntlworld.com.  Alternatively, Newport Fugitives have just introduced a girls team; for more information contact Darren Jeffs at darrenajeffs@aol.com.