“The aim is to create a community for all female cricket volunteers.”

Women and girls development officer Thea Hopkins reflects on Wiltshire Cricket’s successful launch of its new Women’s Volunteer Network.

I only began my role with Wiltshire Cricket at the start of the year, but the idea of a Women’s Volunteer Network (WVN) was one of the first things we discussed.

The aim is to create a community for all female cricket volunteers in Wiltshire to come along, ask questions, and get access to free workshops and support. We’ve already had a Scoring and Umpiring workshop supported by Trowbridge Cricket Club and Wootton Bassett Cricket Club, where we had 30 attendees take part, and we’ve now got a list of workshops to get going between now and the winter.

I’ve volunteered in cricket since I was 15 years old. But people who are new to it will soon be able to join our Facebook group, ask questions, and speak to people who are probably in the same situation – whether that’s volunteering as an umpire, a coach, in a committee role, or doing something else entirely.

We want to grow the number of female volunteers right across Wiltshire. There are quite a few already, but there’s always room to grow that group and reach people who potentially didn’t know there was a route into volunteering that might appeal to them.

As more women and girls’ clubs have started, the volunteering pool is getting bigger. There are new people who’ve started volunteering in the last few years, and people who’ve played cricket all their lives but never thought about volunteering. The WVN is open to clubs across the county and we’re working hard to get as many people involved as possible.

Our launch event in April was a great start. We had about 40 attendees come down to Devizes Corn Exchange for an event that lasted just under three hours. We had a panel of guest speakers, including Western Storm players Mollie Robbins and Emma Corney, along with stands from different partners where people could go, have a chat, and find out more about what’s available to them.

Our main achievement over the next year or so will be to grow the number of female volunteers in Wiltshire cricket and to get as many people as possible along to our workshops. In the next couple of months, we’ve got a Skillset Workshop and a Committee Roles Workshop, both designed to give people information they need to get started with confidence.

I immediately fell in love with cricket in my teens, then quickly got roped into volunteering when people started asking if I wanted to come to a committee meeting or be captain. Working for Wiltshire Cricket is a great crossover: I love volunteering, I love helping out, and it’s great to work with so many fantastic people with a similar mindset.

I always say to anyone who’s thinking about volunteering: just do it, even if it’s only for a week or a month. With volunteering, there’s no permanent commitment. You can try something and see if you like it. And there are so many roles available in a cricket club.

Volunteering goes far beyond coaching, and it’s just brilliant to be involved – whether it’s umpiring, scoring, doing ground maintenance, organising food, or getting involved with fixtures and committees. You learn so much and meet so many new people.


Interested to find out more? Read the Wiltshire Women’s Volunteer Network monthly newsletters for ways to get involved.