Stoke Newington Cricket Club wins ECB grant to develop women’s game

Stoke Newington CC

Stoke Newington CC - Credit: Archant

Stoke Newington Cricket Club has been awarded a £3000 grant by the ECB to further the development of their women and girls’ section.

The grant is part of the new #Funds4Runs initiative, a collaboration between the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and insurer LV=, one of their long-term sponsors. 

#Funds4Runs is a £1million community fund designed to financially aid areas of the recreational game that have been affected by Covid-19, with a particular focus on diverse communities, women and girls’ cricket and disability groups.

Stoke Newington are the first club to receive the grant. The women and girls’ squad joined a Zoom call with England World Cup winner – and player of the match in the final – Anya Shrubsole last Thursday to mark the start of the partnership.

Hollie Summerfield, the lead Women and Girls’ coach at Stoke Newington, said: “It was a complete surprise for all the women and the girls, and it was amazing because most of them have never met any kind of international cricketer so it definitely gives them something to look up to. [Anya] was so down to earth and just chatted with us for half an hour - an incredible experience.”

The club’s welfare officer and cricket co-ordinator, Duncan Alexander, said: “The women’s section really took off in its first full year. We played our first ever matches, we got 25 women and girls to training every Tuesday, which was sensational, and now we’ve just got through our first order of coloured kit.”

Hackney is a growing hotbed for cricket among both men and women, and Stoke Newington enjoyed their most successful summer ever in 2020 in the women’s game. The new money will only serve to make sure this “sleeping giant”, as Summerfield put it, awakens.

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Summerfield added: “The grant is going to fund a completely free women and secondary age girls’ summer programme. It’s going to make it possible for those who wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise to get involved and play cricket. A lot of the mums that play often have to choose between playing themselves or their children playing, but this funding allows them both to be there which is cool.”