The captain of De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU)’s newest sports team has told how she has been bowled over by support – and has called for more women to get involved with sport at De Montfort University (DMU).
Emma Jenkin, representative for the newly formed Women’s Cricket team – part of the DMU Cricket Club – said: “Cricket has always been my favourite sport. Growing up with two brothers and a dad who are all cricket crazy gave me no choice but to love it as well.
“From what I can gather, [people have tried] setting up a women’s team before, but it has never really been a long running thing for various reasons.
“This is why I am so proud that we now have members who return every week, all with different abilities who want to learn and participate in the sport.
“As cricket is predominantly a man’s sport, it is very exciting that we have formed the women’s team and that we are successfully managing to recruit members to help put it out there that girls can play cricket too!”
The team are coached by Leicestershire's Dips Patel at the club's Grace Road ground.
The team, who are still looking for members to join regardless of ability, have so far played in one friendly against Kempston Ladies – but are on the lookout for more fixtures.
“We played our first ever match a few weekends ago,” Emma continued. “It really was a great experience for us all and I am proud of how well everyone came together when we were thrown into the game situation.
“We are currently working alongside other nearby teams to arrange other friendly matches, [which will help] increase our experience levels.”
But the main aim for this season is to recruit more girls into the team and grow female cricket at DMU, as Emma explained.
“I’m in my second year at DMU and after not joining any teams last year I decided that this year I was really going to make the most of university life.
“We currently have 11 permanent members who are there week in, week out. I feel this is quite an achievement for a brand new team in a predominantly male sport.
“[However], we are looking to increase this number significantly over the coming months and years to build a strong base for the team for years to come and to raise the profile of women’s cricket.
“I really can see the improvements being made by each player week on week, which is very promising and I think it is encouraging everyone to carry on working hard during training.”
The team is made up of 11 permanent members – but Emma says the squad are looking for more.
As part of the DMU Cricket Club, the team are also able to take advantage of the university’s unique partnership with Leicestershire County Cricket Club (LCCC), which sees coaching staff working with both men’s and women’s squads.
Emma said the team plan to enter new competitions and tournaments next season – and that coaching from both the men’s team and LCCC’s Dips Patel means they’ll be in a great position to do so.
The team train at Leicestershire’s Grace Road ground on Wednesday afternoons between 3pm and 4:30pm, and Emma has encouraged women both new and experienced in the game to get involved. For more information you can email the team or find them on Twitter.
Emma concluded: “I would love for you to join our friendly, welcoming team and we invite anyone to get in touch.”