As the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 kicks off in New Zealand, and England Women look to defend their title, We Got Game goes live with a standalone Instagram channel and content inspired by both professional and grassroots players.
We Got Game is a new platform designed to elevate the profile of women’s cricket and welcome more young women and girls into the game to drive greater gender balance. Hosted on a new Instagram channel, @wegotgameofficial aims to unite a community of like-minded young women and girls to share their passions both on and off the pitch.
Following record breaking attendances and TV viewing figures of The Hundred’s women’s competition last summer, the launch of We Got Game marks the next phase of progression for women’s cricket. It illustrates the ECB’s long-term commitment to change the way that girls see the game, supported by strategic investment and proactive interventions to make cricket more welcoming to women and girls from the grassroots to the highest level.
This is the first time the ECB has created a standalone women’s cricket channel, which will help to illustrate the societal, mental wellbeing and physical benefits of cricket to young women and girls. Currently only 10% of girls aged 14-24 are doing enough sport to benefit their health and as they hit puberty there is a 30% drop-off in self-confidence. Cricket is in a unique position to help address this through the supportive team environment you play in, with each member requiring different skills and abilities, and where individuality is very much needed and celebrated.
In the long-term, We Got Game is aiming to help redress the balance between the number of boys and girls playing cricket. As it stands, one in ten clubs across England and Wales have a girls’ section and girls make up 27% of sign-ups to ECB’s national participation programmes. In the first year of We Got Game, the ECB is aiming to increase girls sign ups to All Stars Cricket and Dynamos Cricket by 25% from the previous year.
“Being part of a supportive team means being completely free to express myself, it’s one of the things I love most about playing cricket,” said England Women’s player Kate Cross. “When we win, we celebrate together, when we lose, we stick together, we lift each other up. We know what we need from each other because we’re like a family. We Got Game is an extension of that, it’s our community. We want young women and girls everywhere to know that our game is a place where, whoever you are, you’ll be accepted and supported, and your confidence can grow. You can be who you are. We want everyone to feel welcome.”
Developed in direct collaboration with the England Women’s team, the launch of We Got Game kicks off a game-changing year for women’s cricket in this country, which includes the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup starting in New Zealand this week, followed this summer by the Commonwealth Games, The Hundred and home series against South Africa and India – with the latter culminating in a One Day International at Lord’s on 24 September.
Clare Connor, managing director of Women’s Cricket at ECB, said: “This year the opportunity for women’s cricket is greater than just winning trophies, it’s about grabbing hold of moments to raise the profile of women’s cricket, making cricket accessible, more culturally diverse and more relevant to every young woman and girl across England and Wales. That’s why the time is perfect to launch We Got Game and encourage more young women and girls to believe that cricket is a game for them.”
Transforming women’s and girls’ cricket is one of six priorities outlined in the ECB’s ‘Inspiring Generations’ strategy for 2020 – 2024, supported by £50m investment in the women’s game by 2025. The roadmap to activating this is laid out in the Transform Women’s & Girls’ Cricket Action Plan (launched 2019) and direct investment has significantly accelerated the development of the women’s game over the past few years. Evidence of success and future ambitions around four key areas of performance, participation, profile, and pathway include:
The launch of The Hundred accelerated the profile of the women’s game, with record-breaking attendances (267k across women’s games) and viewership for the women’s competition (1.6m people tuned in to the opening game making it the most watched women’s cricket match on the BBC ever).
The salary budget for The Hundred women’s competition has been doubled for year two taking it from £1m in 2021 to £2m in 2022, with a commitment to equal prize money for the men’s and women’s competitions.
Girls can now aspire to a career in cricket with professional domestic contracts now in place.
Over 28,000 girls participated in the ECB’s national programmes All Stars Cricket and Dynamos Cricket (5-11 year-olds) in 2021, making up 27% of the total – an 87% increase compared with 2019.
512,000 under-16s played cricket in an average week in 2020-21, 34% of which were girls, a new record in girls’ participation.
Investment in facilities across the recreational game is a top priority – all funding programmes have a focus on environments that are welcoming to women and girls – with £3.5m allocated per year for five years.
The England women’s team start their ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup campaign against Australia on March 5.
To see all the goings on, on and off the pitch and be part of the new We Got Game community, follow them on Instagram @wegotgameofficial.