Warwickshire County Cricket Club marked International Women’s Day with a celebration of women in sport event at Edgbaston Stadium.
Around 60 people gathered at the ground for a panel discussion featuring former Warwickshire CCC Board member Michelle Leavesley, Chief Operating Officer Craig Flindall and Central Sparks Team Operations Manager Beth Gaskell.
It was followed by a fun quiz as the Club joined organisations across the West Midlands to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.
Women’s cricket is thriving in Birmingham and reached a passionate new audience at last year’s Commonwealth Games where the women’s cricket tournament was arguably the most successful event of the games calendar.
Edgbaston is home to regional women’s side Central Sparks – which now boasts 10 full-time professionals in the squad – plus Warwickshire Women and girls pathway age groups from under-11s to Academy level.
Edgbaston Operations Director Claire Daniel, said: “There’s real buzz around women’s cricket in the region right now and as a Club we are committed to developing the women’s game.
“There are more than 100 girls in our youth pathway system from under-11s to under-18s, plus 14 exciting prospects in the Club’s Emerging Player Programme. They train every week at our indoor centre and we’re hopeful some will go on to become stars of the future.
“And at Edgbaston we’re looking to increase female representation across more areas of our business, including jobs that have traditionally been seen as male dominated like our ground staff.
“I want us to listen and provide whatever support is necessary to help more women join the Bears family and have fulfilling careers here.”
Michelle Leavesley – who made history by becoming the first woman to sit on the Board of a county cricket club – said there has never been more opportunities for women to make their mark in the workplace.
“It’s important to have diversity of thinking around the decision-making table,” she added. “I speak for experience when I say I know that exists at Edgbaston but more women need to put themselves forward so they can make a difference.
“There is a clear path onto the Board here and I would encourage more women to get involved. Perhaps sometimes it’s a confidence thing, but I would say just go for it because there are no barriers.”
Edgbaston Stadium plays host to an IT20 England Women’s Ashes against Australia on 1 July. More than 14,000 tickets have already been sold and it’s set to become a record crowd for a women’s game in the country, outside of ICC events or the Commonwealth Games.
Over 19,000 tickets sold for Women’s Ashes IT20
For the first time, Edgbaston will host a Women’s Ashes IT20 as the oldest rivalry in cricket returns to Birmingham – and over 19,000 tickets have already been sold!
Watch local stars including Amy Jones and Issy Wong in action as we make history on Saturday 1 July, 6.30pm start. Limited tickets are left from only £17 for adults and under 16s £5.