Some of Britain’s most successful female business and sports women are joining forces today (25 April) to help empower girls through cricket.
Tesco Executive Director, Lucy Neville-Rolfe and England Women’s captain Charlotte Edwards are part of a newly formed Girls’ Cricket Board, organised by the Chance to Shine cricket charity. They will help launch ‘Girls on the Front Foot’, a programme of activity that aims to give girls the same opportunity as boys to play cricket at schools, clubs and in the community.
Joining them on the rooftop of the Pavilion at Lord’s Cricket Ground will be a host of cricketing and non-cricket celebrities, including Sir Tim Rice, a Vice President of Chance to Shine, Head of Women’s Cricket at ECB, Clare Connor, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs Stefan Green, the country’s leading female cricket commentator Alison Mitchell and Sky News’ Nazaneen Ghaffar.
One of the Board’s key objectives is to enable mass participation in girls’ cricket, while allowing girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to increase their aspirations and to engage them in positive, life-changing activities. The Board also wants to enable girls around the country to develop skills and values such as teamwork, competing with boys, and learning to win and lose, which will help them in their future careers.
Speaking about the launch of ‘Girls on the Front Foot’, Charlotte Edwards said:
“I am delighted to be involved with the Chance to Shine Girls Board. It is amazing to see this collection of high-powered women come together for such a worthy cause. In my dual role as England Captain and Chance to Shine Coaching Ambassador it is fantastic to go into schools around the country and see girls playing cricket. A few years ago one of those girls could have been me and I hope the work we do as a board will inspire girls around the country to enjoy this great sport and help the game continue to grow.”
Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Executive Director at Tesco, said:
“England’s women cricketers have been very successful in recent years when competing against other countries and we all want them to stay on top with a stronger pipeline of talent. Playing cricket also helps girls to master teamwork and I believe that learning to excel at anything is a good preparation for business life and a rewarding career.”
The Chance to Shine campaign aims to bring cricket – and its social and educational benefits – to young people in state schools across the country. The programme, run by the Cricket Foundation, has so far reached 1.4 million children in over 4,000 schools. Of these 1.4 million kids 44% are girls. In 2011 alone around 160,000 girls took part in the programme. The campaign runs a number of girls-only cricket projects, providing an appropriate environment for girls to learn the game, and working closely with cricket clubs to set up new girls’ teams.