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Hampshire start girls emerging players programme

Hampshire's first girls-only emerging players programme has been launched to help female cricketers between the ages of 12 and 16 improve their game.

Six of the best players across Hampshire's county squads have been selected for the 2012-13 programme, which gives high-quality one-on-one coaching with the aims of developing players who have the capability to play regional cricket and for England age-group sides plus enhancing the performance of county age-group teams which will, in turn, improve the performance of the senior Hampshire Ladies team.

The inaugural programme's participants are Providence Cowdrill, Katie George, Martha Bilsland, Emily Windsor, Leanne Davies and Gemma Harper.

Charlotte Edwards, Gemma Harper & Ian Stuart

England women captain and Chance to Shine ambassador Charlotte Edwards, left, is assisting the girls emerging players programme

The head coach of the programme is Ian Stuart, who has a wealth of experience having worked for the International Cricket Council in Europe and been one of the lead tutors for the Hampshire Coach Education Programme.

As part of the programme, the six girls are benefiting from the expertise of England women captain and Chance to Shine ambassador Charlotte Edwards.

Girls' cricket in Hampshire has gone from strength to strength of late. This year the under-13 squad reached the national finals for the first time and the under-17s reached the national semi-finals.

Head of women and girls’ cricket for the Hampshire Cricket Board Mike Pollard said: "This is an exciting opportunity for women and girls' cricket. We are finally able to offer our best female players the same level of support that the boys enjoy as we look to develop players for the future and hopefully play for England one day.

"However, it is absolutely crucial that this programme is continued after the initial two-year period so we desperately need anyone interested in potentially sponsoring the programme in future to contact us."

Anyone interested in getting involved with the girls' emerging players programme should contact Pollard on michael.pollard@ageabowl.com or 07920 452527.

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