Fast, furious and fun

Charlotte Jump executing the perfect straight drive. Photo: Merle Cave.

Charlotte and Ariana couldn’t name a famous cricketer. But 10-year-old Ivy thought she could.

“I feel it could be someone with the last name Williams, or something.”

Close enough. And she’s played a serious game of cricket. “In the backyard with the family. I suck. I am good at batting but a hopeless bowler.”

That’s okay too, because that famous cricketer with a name like Williams, only bowls off-breaks occasionally. And like Ivy, he’s a much better batsman.

Regardless, the Northern Districts Cricket Association BOP development manager, Erin Berry is delighted to see Ivy Groom and her Greenpark Primary School mates Charlotte Jump and Ariana A’Court at the girls’ cricket SuperSmash promotion at Bay Oval.

Create excitement

 “It was a festival to attract the next generation of women cricketers and fans,” says Erin. “We want to create some excitement around the game, provide lots of opportunities for girls to get excited about cricket in a fun, fast-paced inclusive environment.”

Thirteen teams of eight; everyone bowled an over, a partnership faced two overs, no-one went out. Fast and furious. “Yes, there was a winner,” says Greenpark sport teacher Darren Leef.

“But it didn’t matter. It was about hanging with your mates and having a good time.” And cricket was the catalyst.

Many of the 100-plus girls from primary schools around the city were getting their first taste of cricket, had never bowled a cricket ball, never whacked a cricket ball.

And they got their chance on eight casual pitches set up on an international cricket wicket, the hallowed ground around the main block at the Bay Oval none-the-less last Friday.

“The Black Caps play on this ground,” says Ivy. “That’s cool.”

The Greenpark Primary girls back at school: Ariana A’Court, Charlotte Jump and Ivy Groom. Photo: Merle Cave.

It would never happen at Lords nor the Oval. Neither would the tutus and other garish outfits at the girl’s SuperSmash festival. “They’re encouraged to have fun,” says Darren.

“And it helps to dress up a bit different and go crazy.”

Greenpark had three teams at the SuperSmash – could have been four such was the interest. And if half of these girls, one-third of them perhaps, catch the cricket bug from SuperSmash, the development manager will be tickled.

“Hopefully they will have had a buzz, had fun with friends, got to run around and perhaps decide this game could be for them, create a bit of interest in what comes next,” says Erin.

Skills on the Oval

Next comes ‘Skills on the Oval’ next Thursday, December 14 from 5pm-7pm. It’s an opportunity for young cricket fans to grow their passion for the game, leading up to the launch of NZ’s Domestic Twenty20 Super Smash campaign.

It’s an evening jam-packed with skill games and challenges set up around the oval. It’s also a chance to meet Northern Brave players. Everyone is welcome.

Then at Blake Park on Thursday, December 21, 9am-3pm, there’s a Super Smash Holiday Festival Day for anyone in Years 3-8.

There will be short and fast festival-style team games, a fun-filled day of cricket for anyone who plays or wants to give it a go. It costs $15 for the day, which includes a free Northern Brave t-shirt.

To register, go to:

You may also like....