Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Cricket NSW: Female cricket coaches to speak to their journeys in pathways seminar

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Photo Credit: Cricket NSW

Sophie Gould found out that sometimes, the difference between a new, exciting career path and an existing one, is to just say yes to a question.

At the start of the season, Cricket NSW’s Illawarra Cricket Manager, Paul Brockley, asked the 21-year-old university student and worker in Wollongong if she’d want to coach girls’ cricket teams.

Gould had never coached before, in fact, she didn’t play cricket in Wollongong, preferring to travel to her hometown Canberra to play for her club there. She said she’d do it. One season later, Gould is looking at new frontiers in cricket coaching, and she definitely wants to carry on. 

“I would have never got involved with coaching girls at a club if I wasn’t asked,” said Gould.  

“I loved that I could be the role model for players, that I never had growing up. Being able to help the girls by improving their skills was great fun for me too.”

Gould is now set to speak at an online female coaching pathways seminar that Cricket NSW has organised to mark International Women’s Day on March 8 this year.

She and other speakers will outline their coaching journeys and also talk about coaching opportunities for females at Cricket NSW. 

To register for the seminar, go here 

Growing up in Canberra, Gould herself was coached by her father, and only started playing club cricket at 13. She played for the Ginninderra Cricket Club, and when she moved to Wollongong three years ago, she continued to travel back to her hometown to play. 

In 2023, at the start of the season, Brockley was looking for a female coach to acquit a grant Cricket NSW had received from the NSW Office of Sport, which required the development of a first-time female coach. Gould agreed to try it out and went on to coach Cricket Blast players as well as female club cricket players. 

Throughout the season, she made a difference to the lives of 20 girls whose cricketing skills were enriched by her coaching them once a week.  

Testimonials from those children have come pouring in. 

“Sophie has taught me how to bowl and also to block and swing the ball around. It just feels way better to have a girl coach when you’re a girl,” said Hannah Martin. 

“It’s been really good to have Sophie as our coach. She has helped me with my batting, she’s a really good coach and kind as well. Sophie has help me with my bowling as well,” said Kimberley Turner, who was one of her youngest students at 10 years old. 

Julie Stafford, Female Engagement and D&I Manager, Cricket NSW, said: 

“Female cricket is growing in NSW by leaps and bounds and with it, we’re seeing the growing need for specialist female coaches. Sophie’s journey into coaching is a stellar example of the pathways we are creating for our players who would like to transition into Community Cricket coaching. 

“Cricket NSW’s Female Coaching Pathways Seminar will allow women who would like to take up coaching an insight into the pathways and the opportunities for female coaches in NSW. Gould and other coaches will share their inspiring cricketing journeys through this online seminar to encourage more women to join cricket.” 

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