It is no surprise that cricket is sweeping the School – the team orientated nature of the game that promotes community spirit whilst providing individuals with the opportunity to shine, is superbly aligned with the Downe House ethos.
Although a relatively new sport to our curriculum, Downe House has invested time and resources into building the cricket programme from the ground up, driven by Miss Tash Bott, our cricket-mad Teacher of PE and Head of Cricket, who is steaming ahead with her vision for Cricket to become one of the leading summer sports at Downe House – to rival Tennis and Athletics!
Our pupils’ enthusiasm for the sport has not been dampened by the limitations presented by the pandemic, and we have responded in kind by increasing the number of weekly cricket lessons as well as investing in additional equipment to ensure girls can focus on individual skills. We have also added more matches to the sports calendar – 14 fixtures a year to be exact! These include all age groups, including the U15 Schools Cup Hardball Tournament.
Our pupils, of all ages, are relishing the new challenge of both soft and hardball lessons, practices and matches – from our experienced club and county players to girls with little or no experience alike.
“I started playing cricket when I was six at Blackheath cricket club. It was the first year of the girls’ cricket programme there. I played for the girls U14 hardball team last season and the season before that.” – Emilia
Hetty, Emilia and Amelia play club and county cricket. They train and get additional coaching outside of School and have had the honour, despite being in Year 10, of playing in the Downe House 1st XI.
“Cricket at Downe House is so enjoyable and welcoming. We play as a team, to support each other and cheer one another on. It makes you want to always play your best for your teammates.” – Amelia
Miss Bott has ambitious plans to develop hardball cricket within Downe House, starting by introducing a beginner’s hardball programme that can be incorporated in lessons from as young as U12. The Sports department is proud of the School’s investment in a Flicx wicket and the dedicated cricket area on its playing fields. We have also forged links with local cricket clubs, in particular West Ilsley CC, a brilliantly run local club. Their facilities, knowledge and expertise are enjoyed by several year groups each week when they head out for evening nets practice.
We are delighted the hard work and dedication from the teachers and girls has been recognised, with Downe House being announced as one of the Cricketer Schools Guide Top 20 Schools for Girls’ Cricket in the UK.
“I am so proud that we have ranked in the Top 20 All-Girls’ Schools for cricket in the country. Being recognised amongst this prestigious list of sporting schools shows how much girls cricket is taking off, not only at Downe House but nationally. Our pupils have risen to the challenge of a new sport brilliantly and I am excited that together we are forging a new Cricketing tradition at the school. I look forward to seeing engagement and enthusiasm for the sport continue to grow from strength to strength over the years ahead.” – Miss Tash Bott, Teacher of PE and Head of Cricket.
Read more about the Cricketer Schools Guide 2022 at The Cricketer website.
See more about cricket and sport at Downe House here.
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