A project spearheaded by Northern Districts is set to hit schools this month and if successful will be rolled out nationally by New Zealand Cricket.
The GoGirl pilot programme will focus on recruiting school girls to the sport and teaching them the fundamentals of the game.
Northern Districts' cricket operations and women's development officer Elaine Nolan has been working on the programme for more than a year after a conversation with New Zealand Cricket national development manager Mark Lane in December 2011.
"We were just looking to figure out if we could get a programme up and running that was for girls only, because New Zealand Cricket have kind of targeted women's cricket as an area that could be grown quite substantially if targeted," Nolan said.
"So we formulated a bit of a plan and put a funding application into Sport New Zealand in May, and in September we got the go-ahead. We've got about $150,000 over two years to roll this out."
As project manager, Nolan has created the programme's logo and a comprehensive 36-page document that covers the skills and exercises to be taught.
She said basically it is a merge of NZC's Have-a-Go and Skills Challenge programmes, with some re-styling.
"There's no point re-inventing the wheel of something that works so well already," Nolan said.
Moreover, ND will be able to provide some of their Northern Spirit players with an income-earning opportunity during the season, as they will be employed as GoGirl Cricket Development Officers.
Felicity Leydon-Davis will be covering the Hamilton region and Kerry Tomlinson will take care of the Waikato Valley area, with ND's other four regions to be covered by fellow players.
"It just also kind of helps us prolong the careers for them because we find that a lot of our female cricketers drop out because they can't get paid for the sport and other things take priority like work and uni," Nolan said.
The officers will be in primary, intermediate and secondary schools for six weeks and in year one will target four schools at each level in each region.
At the end of the programme they will run a festival day at the schools where pupils will play modified games of cricket.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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