ECB launch The Metro Bank Girls in Cricket Fund

Friday 24th May 2024

Building on the success of the record-breaking Ashes year in 2023 and a successful initial year as the inaugural Champion Partner of Women’s and Girls Cricket, Metro Bank and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are stepping up their partnership with the launch of The Metro Bank Girls in Cricket Fund.

The partnership, and the co-designed fund which runs through until 2028, are focused on recruiting, educating, supporting, and celebrating the people that make girls’ cricket happen, with the ambition to help triple the number of girls’ teams at clubs by the end of 2026. To help this mission come to life, the fund will provide support to current and potential new coaches and volunteers, both male and female, in clubs with a girls’ section, and those clubs starting a new girls’ section.

We know that this fund is addressing existing barriers which hold back women’s and girls’ cricket. Insights from the 2023 National Cricket Playing Survey and research undertaken alongside Women in Sport show that whilst participation levels are growing, a lack of female coaches and volunteers in the girls’ game is an important issue to address at all levels.

To do this, the fund will focus on seven pillars of activity:

  1. IGNITE – This is a new tool which will help volunteers considering getting into coaching to take their first steps in clubs with, or starting, a girls’ section, igniting their passion for coaching and volunteering. It will also help clubs with a girls’ sections to recruit new volunteers into their girls’ sections, aimed at parents and players themselves.
  2. ASPIRE – The fund will increase the number of qualified ECB Core Coaches who coach girls’ teams at clubs. ECB Core Coaches are important to girls’ sections as they can deliver sessions independently and support other coaches and volunteers.
  3. ENHANCE – Enhance is a first for coach development in clubs with a girls’ section. It’s a programme of tailored support for coaches of girls’ teams, designed specifically around individual’s needs, delivered at clubs with a girls’ section. Insights shows that coaches, and newly qualified coaches in particular, welcome more guidance upon completing their Coach Development course when they return to their clubs. Enhance provides this, tailored to each club with a girls’ section involved.
  4. EVOLVE – ECB Coach Developers are the tutor and support workforce that deliver ECB Coach Development courses throughout England and Wales. They inspire and create the coaches of the future. Support through the Fund will evolve the ECB Coach Developer workforce to become more gender balanced, through talent identification, and selection, empowering more women to become coaching role models.
  5. REACH – Later this year, will see a new, dedicated hub of coaching resources and tools, aimed specifically at coaching girls in club cricket. Everything coaches of girls will need will be easily accessible in one place.
  6. NETWORK – The fund will bring together like-minded people with one common goal, inspiring and growing girls’ cricket at clubs. Network is a blend of virtual webinars, and from 2025, local face-to-face learning events. These will shine a light on coaching girls’ teams at clubs, connecting coaches and volunteers who play a vital role in inspiring girls at clubs.
  7. CELEBRATE – An opportunity to celebrate and say thank you to the volunteers and coaches that go above and beyond to make girls’ cricket in clubs happen. In partnership with the Cricket Collective, a new award, the ‘Metro Bank Champion of Girls’ Cricket Award’ will be given to a volunteer, coach or role model who has championed growing girls’ cricket at their club.

With more female coaches and volunteers supported by the fund, we are confident that the boom in the women and girls’ game can continue, inspiring more young people to take up the sport and benefit from the life opportunities which it brings. More information on the Fund can be found at metrobankonline.co.uk/cricket