New Zealand Cricket Women’s Development Officer and current White Fern is visiting schools across the country, promoting cricket to young women.
Cricket has always been regarded as a predominately male game but the roadshow gives girls the opportunity to engage and interact with White Ferns on a personal level during coaching sessions and games.
“There are very few females working in the grassroots area of the game therefore more often than not girls have a male coming into their school encouraging them to play cricket,” said McGlashan.
Regions decide on how best to use the White Ferns depending on the state of girls/women’s cricket in their area with the main age targeted being year 5-8.
This usually involves:
- Doing girls only cricket sessions at schools
- Using White Ferns to add to the experience for those attending festival days
- Increasing girls interest in the game leading up to club registration and tournaments days
All of these activities give girls the opportunity to learn cricket skills and experience cricket in a girls only environment where they can feel confident ‘giving it a go.’
“An important thing about the roadshow is ensuring areas that are targeted have key people involved that will guarantee follow-ups are done otherwise the visits become what we call Father Christmas visits,” said McGlashan. “These people need to have a genuine interested in promoting and maintaining the growth of girls cricket.
“So far the trip has been great. It started with Kate Broadmore and I heading up to Gisborne. Most of the schools we went into involved naturally talented Maori and Polynesian girls. As you can imagine they could throw far and smack the ball hard!
“After three stunning days on the coast Dave McDonald, who did a great job organising it, has already had contact from teams now wanting to enter the inter school competition we promoted and be involved in festival days.
“We then headed to Auckland to make guest appearances at the three different festival days. The festival involved a different cluster of schools playing games of cricket throughout the day. We umpired, coached and clowned around with the kids making sure they thoroughly enjoyed their cricketing experience. Each day after games finished it was off to a local club to coach the junior clubs girls and do a Q & A session.
“Over the six days we spread the word about how great cricket is to over 750 girls.
“Regions must never underestimate the benefits of running girls only sessions during school visits rather than combining them with the boys.
“White Ferns must never underestimate the positive influence they can have on young girls as role models for the game,” McGlashan added.