International Women’s Day – Sarah Ginn’s story in cricket

Ahead of International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March, Warwickshire County Cricket Club and the Warwickshire Cricket Board, in partnership with the ECB, wanted to highlight one of the most inspirational figures in the women's game within the county, Sarah Ginn of Berkswell Cricket Club. Read on for Sarah’s story in the game.

I started playing cricket semi-seriously at Cardiff University. There wasn’t a team, so I started one in my second year. It’s still going – Heather Knight was involved when she was at Cardiff. I met my husband through university cricket, and now almost twenty years on, we have two young boys who also play.

After graduation, I started playing for Wales and coaching their juniors, also setting up a women’s side at nearby St Fagans Cricket Club.
I worked for Cricket Wales for four years developing women’s and girls’ cricket – at first voluntarily, but then permanently when the the Board recognised the opportunity to take it further.

"I got in touch with the Warwickshire Cricket Board to let them know I was a Level 3 coach who was keen to get involved. I started with their U13s and more recently coaching their U17s and helping out with the senior women’s side."

Sarah Ginn

When we relocated to the Midlands, I got in touch with the Warwickshire Cricket Board to let them know I was a Level 3 coach who was keen to get involved. I started with their U13s and more recently coaching their U17s and helping out with the senior women’s side.

We won the U17 County Championship last year. A big moment for me because between my time at Wales and Warwickshire, I’ve been at Finals Day ten times, so it was amazing to actually go on and win.

"After we moved, there was no female club option nearby, which led me to set up a women’s section at Berkswell Cricket Club. It’s been six years now – with two teams and some great success on the pitch."

Sarah Ginn

I believe when things are well organised and structured, people can concentrate on their game. I’ve taken on a fixture secretary role at Warwickshire to assist with this – I think it all correlates together. This and knowing your players – that’s where success comes from.

Club cricket is important to me.

After we moved, there was no female club option nearby, which led me to set up a women’s section at Berkswell Cricket Club. It’s been six years now – with two teams and some great success on the pitch. I help organise the 2nd XI and then I play and run the 1st XI. Over the last 18 months, we’ve started girls’ cricket at U11, so if you include our All Stars, nearly half of which are girls, it’s going from strength to strength.

I think we pick up more girls by having a female coach involved. I also like the dual role of playing and coaching as again knowing your players is key and there’s no better place to do this than out in the middle.

Our club isn’t known for losing players, only gaining them. We get the numbers because we have created an environment people want to be involved with.

With the new regional structure in women’s cricket there will inevitably be some players coming back to play in the club scene.

I have taken on a new role as West Midlands Women’s League Chair and we’re doing a lot of work in our area to make sure the league is accessible and appealing to play in, for precisely that reason.

Clubs have been a little left behind at times and ECB and the five counties across our region are trying to address that.

Outside of cricket, I run a nursery school. I work more hours during the winter, so it’s good to have that flexibility. My motivation comes from not having the opportunities when I was younger. I desperately wanted to play cricket at school, but there wasn’t an obvious route in.

I like campaigns like International Women’s Day and This Girl Can. Sport and exercise is so good not just for physical but also mental health, so anything that can boost women, their presence, their ego at the moment, is a positive thing.