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11 Nov

BLOG: First women in league on love for the game

On and off the field we are there for each other – Nikki Robb, Indoor Cricket League player

Our indoor cricket competitions range from one days tournaments to 10-week leagues, through our diverse communities work.

The leagues provide the opportunity to play more formalised cricket, but within the community local to participants. After researching the areas and barriers to playing sport, the session dates and times were tailored around this and provided at low cost.

This season the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF) Indoor Cricket League for adults is well under way – with the action packed competition taking place in Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Kirklees.

Our flagship league runs in Leeds, in partnership with LPL with eight teams across the city batting it out for a place in the final’s day on Sunday, 20 November, at Leeds City Academy.

One of those teams is Thanks for Coming (TFC) team, set up by Chairman Nathan Robson and Isaac Lockett, who both had the vision to ‘break down barriers’ and make the team open for everyone.

The team gives everyone of any ability/race/gender and disability a chance to play the game with no prejudice – Emma Jane, Club Secretary and Player FOR TFC

Nathan said: “It was set up by me and Isaac Lockett on the premise that everyone would get a game regardless of who they are.

“We wanted to break down the barriers that were stopping people being involved – say if they had previously had a bad experience in cricket. For both Me and Isaac it’s important to ensure everyone got a game which is why we went with the ironic name of ‘Thanks for Coming’ for the team to ensure that as many people got as much a game as possible.”

We caught up with the first three women to take part in the league – Nikki Robb, Emma Jane and Emily Easingwood, who are all part of the Thanks for Coming (TFC) team, to find out what playing in the Indoor Cricket League means to them.

Nikki Robb (Player)

I play for TFC because I love the fact that they have taken me in as one of their own. Mixed gender at its best and they treat us all equally.

Playing for TFC means everything to me, my partner and children. They (the team) are extra brothers and sisters to me that I never had. On and off the field we are there for each other, when someone is feeling down we’re all there to bring them back up, if you want to go out for a meal or drink at least one of them is always up for attending.

Even though my children are young and my partner doesn’t really do sports they are so welcoming to us all.

How much do I enjoy it? It’s a huge passion rather than a hobby for me, it’s something I work hard on and have done from a young age. Sport has always been my go to when stressed or agitated and TFC really brings joy to playing for them. We’re one family and nothing will ever change that. Once a team always a team.

Pictured, Nikki wicket-keeping in the Indoor Cricket League

Emma Jane (Club Secretary and Player)

The team gives everyone of any ability/race/gender and disability a chance to play the game with no prejudice.

It’s inclusive, we have each other’s backs not just on the field but off it too. It’s a very welcoming bunch of people and the team gives me somewhere to go when I’m not feeling great.

I love it and I love being part of something that doesn’t just finish in September. It doesn’t matter how bad I/we play there are always laughs, and support and nights out.

The team has also supported me massively. For example they all helped me put together a charity match with TFC playing, which raised over £1200 for Kirkwood in aid of Dan Regan, a close friend of mine. The event was so successful we are looking to run it again next year and raise even more money.

Emily Easingwood (Player)

I’ve always loved playing for TFC as the team have always been more than welcoming and never once in my time of playing for TFC have I ever felt excluded within the team.

When I was a junior I moved to a new club and joined the under-13s team and during that time I was the only girl in the Huddersfield junior league and was very much a “glorified fielder” so fell out of love with the game.

But now as a 22-year-old female, playing for TFC means so much as I’ve always felt valued and that I can contribute to the success of TFC.

As traditional cricket is a summer sport, TFC provides me the opportunity to play indoor games during the cold winter months, which is great for a “cricket badger” like myself. Not only that but the social nights they organize, the post game video highlights on the socials and the general inclusivity of all players regardless of gender, age or ability is what I enjoy most.

Pictured Emily Easingwood, who is enjoying playing for TFC.

Nathan said: “We are proud of our three amazing women who play for TFC and that they bring so much to the club on and off the field.

“Emma has been a very close part of the club since the beginning, Nikki and Emily joined later and they have been available for most games ever since. We love their passion and love for the sport and we hope to one day grow our women’s section as well as ensuring that everyone feels welcomed at the club.”

YCF Indoor Cricket Leagues

We offer a range of different Indoor Cricket Leagues, including those for adults, women-only and youth leagues.

To find out more and to get involved, please click the link below:

Read more: YCF Indoor Cricket Leagues

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