Posted: 21 July, 2021

The Changing Face of Girls’ Sport Revisited: How Cricket Has Bowled Over Putney Students

Blog, General, News, Senior School, Sixth Form, Sports

Cricket at Putney started four years ago and ever since it has proven to be a well-loved sport, cementing its place as a favourite for students and staff alike. Since 2017, when softball cricket was first introduced into the school, the progression has been impressive and fast-moving.

Students were able, and eager to start hardball cricket. While lockdown delayed this introduction by one year, hardball was ready to go and training began in the spring of this year. Keen to get going, students rose to the challenge and entered a number of hardball competitions this Spring/Summer, with much success.

Cricket has been embraced not only by the students of the school but by staff too, with Emma Fraser, Director of Sport, working closely with former England cricketer and influential figure in women’s cricket, Lydia Greenway and Cricket for Girls. Emma and the whole Putney High Sports Department have been on advanced courses with Lydia Greenway to improve their cricket teaching skills.

Cricket at Putney has also benefitted from the expertise of Alastair Fraser, ex-professional cricketer who has played for Middlesex, Essex and Young England Cricketers. Alastair coaches students twice a week at Wimbledon Cricket club, where students have had the opportunity to use the first team hybrid pitch.

Alastair also happens to be Emma Fraser’s husband and brother to England cricketer Angus Fraser. This close personal connection to cricket has not only encouraged Emma’s love for cricket but has furthered her coaching ability, learning from her husband. Cricket is an important part of Emma’s life and she brings that exciting energy and passion to Putney High, which rubs off on the students she teaches and creates a positive environment for future cricketers to flourish.

After a successful season, with 16 cricket teams over soft and hardball competing in the T20 School Sports Magazine Cup, the Starburst Cup (which our U12s won) the Surrey League, the Lady Taverner at Lords and more, the future looks bright for Putney cricketers.

With Year 10 student Eleanor S, who began by playing softball cricket in Year 7, now playing for Surrey U15s, the aim is to encourage more students to join local clubs to improve their skills and enable them to continue practising after term ends.

This summer our U12 and 13s will be taking part in player pathway trials which could be the first step for some onto the county cricket platform.

Looking ahead; with nets soon to be arriving for the start of term, which will enable hardball cricket to be played year-round, and the school funding cricket facilities at a nearby community sports site that is used by Putney cricketers, the facilities and opportunities for our young cricketers are only set to increase.

Cricket’s history at Putney may be in its relative infancy, however, it is a journey that has only just begun. The students’ natural athleticism and can-do attitude makes them fast learners, and Putney’s culture of sport for all, driven by its passionate and skilled teachers has meant that they are already hitting it for six!

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