ECB picked up two awards at last night’s 2018 Women’s Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger Awards, being recognised with the ‘National Governing Body of the Year’ Award and the ‘Sporting Role Model – Team’ award.
The awards are decided by a public vote and the recognition comes off the back of a memorable 12 months for the game, the highlight of which was the England team winning the ICC Women’s World Cup in front of a sell-out crowd at Lord’s.
Success in the women’s game has not been limited to the elite level with participation at the grassroots level also on the rise.
All Stars now has just under 55,000 children signed up for 2018 while the 2017 Women’s Soft Ball Cricket Festivals gave 9,500 women their first experience of structured cricket.
At domestic level attendances for the Kia Super League enjoyed an increase of 44 per cent across 2017, with an aggregate attendance approaching 25,000.
Director of England Women’s Cricket Clare Connor said:
“It’s special to be honoured by the Women’s Sport Trust because the history and progress of women’s sport is at the heart of what drives them.
“There are so many fantastic organisations, teams and athletes playing their part to grow women’s sport and we’re privileged to have been chosen to win these awards.
“We’ve really enjoyed the last 12 months and the recognition and profile that the women’s game has seen, but there’s always more work to be done.
“There truly has never been a better time for women and girls to be involved in cricket, on and off the pitch, and we are focused on further growth and success.
“We want girls to know that professional cricket is a viable career choice for them and we will support our elite teams to keep performing so we can create more special days like the one we experienced at Lord’s in July last summer.
It goes without saying that we are extremely proud of Heather Knight, her England team and all of our staff who play such critical roles behind the scenes in supporting the players to be the best they can be.”
Heather Knight, England captain, said:
“We want to inspire young girls to pick up a bat and a ball and start playing and recognition is always useful.
“It’s obviously a huge honour to win awards such as this one but the real success comes in growing cricket and introducing new fans to our game.
“We’re hosting South Africa and New Zealand this summer and hopefully we’ll carry on doing our bit to bring more women and girls into cricket.”