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Metro Bank and the ECB launch The Metro Bank Girls in Cricket Fund

9th 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 Fund, co-designed and jointly funded by Metro Bank and the ECB, focuses on recruiting, educating, supporting, and celebrating the people that make girls’ cricket in clubs happen, with the ambition to 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, female and male, both in clubs with a girls’ section and those starting a new girls’ section.

Commitment to the Fund on both sides extends right through until 2028 with at least the first three years dedicated to coaches and volunteers following insights from research commissioned with Women in Sport. The research confirmed there are still barriers deterring participation, the most significant being a distinct lack of female coaches in the girls’ game.

The Fund comprises seven ‘pillars’* of activity designed to help overcome these barriers, as well as driving growth in girls’ club cricket and providing lasting support as people progress through the game.

Initial distributions of the Fund will be for a coach development subsidy programme to provide financial support for new and existing coaches of girls’ club cricket. This will support the creation of a club coach programme helping the growth of these coaches within their own club environment. In addition, a new girls’ cricket hub comprising of digital learning resources - accessible for all volunteers and coaches – will share knowledge and experience among the women’s and girls’ club cricket network.

Leshia Hawkins, MD of Recreational Cricket at ECB said: “We’re delighted to be working with Metro Bank to launch the Girls in Cricket Fund today. This Fund is going to turbocharge the growth of women’s and girls’ grassroots cricket by creating more coaches and volunteers who will drive the next generation of girls playing the game.

“From that first moment of inspiration to become a volunteer, right through to expert resources for coaches, the Fund is there to support every step of the journey. This is not just about getting more women involved, it’s about inspiring them, empowering them to progress through the game in their chosen role, and helping to transform their lives in cricket.”

Danielle Lee, Brand and Marketing Director at Metro Bank, said:

“We are excited to be working with the ECB to help move the dial on women’s and girls’ participation by funding this grassroots’ initiative – which we believe will allow thousands of girls to develop an interest in playing cricket.  When girls regularly participate in sport, our research shows this helps them to excel and develop in every aspect of their lives. Together, we are going to help girls fulfil their potential.”

Head to where you can discover more about The Metro Bank Girls In Cricket Fund, and help to champion the future of girls’ cricket.

The following details the seven key pillars that the Fund will be comprised of:

  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.