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8th March 2020 Women

International Women’s Day: Lisa Conners’ story

Today – Sunday 8 March – is International Women’s Day and Durham Cricket in partnership with ECB are sharing the story of Lisa Conners and the fantastic work she has done at her cricket club Newton Aycliffe in promoting women’s & girls’ cricket. 

“If you bring cricket to families, you get the mums too – like me.“

You’ll find me in my kit most of the time. I’m a cabbie so I drive during the day. I get home, make the tea, then we all get changed and go back out to cricket. It’s like that pretty much all week. I came out of a bad relationship and was starting my life again. I never thought I’d like cricket, but I found a love of it.

My first connection with it came at Newton Aycliffe Cricket Club three years ago through the All Stars programme. Back then, I didn’t have any confidence, I used to sit in a bubble and watch the kids. It started from there. Cricket has become my family, my community.

I have four children in my house, eight to 18 (two younger boys, two older girls) and we all love it. In a short time, we’ve turned into a proper cricket family.  With the age gap, it has given us common ground – we talk about cricket a lot.

I owe Adam Gittins at Newton Aycliffe CC a big thanks for his encouragement. I started as a parent helper, then an All Stars activator, now as a Foundation One qualified coach. This year we’ve just started a women’s section at the club. There wasn’t any cricket for my older girls, so I said: “I’ll create something.”

I’m now the club’s development officer for the women’s section and with the help of Tina Greaves, we’ve built it from scratch. We’re already getting 20 players each week– they’re itching to get into some tournaments.

I’ve never seen another sport that builds teams and communities like cricket.

It’s brought my whole family together. My daughter Alex is now a qualified coach and she received an award from Durham last year for it. She’s also involved with Chance to Shine in schools. My boys, Jack and Jake play and my daughter Chloe is also now the club photographer!

Me and the kids love a day out at the Emirates Riverside at Durham to watch the Vitality Blast. We’ve also been to Headingley last summer to watch England vs Pakistan in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup – my son won the experience as part of All Stars.

We’re looking forward to heading back to see the Northern Superchargers in The Hundred this summer. Jake likes the shorter formats, so it should be perfect.

2020 is my fourth year of cricket.  I remember thinking what a welcoming sport it was when my son Jack went out to bat for the Under-11s – his first ever hard ball match. He didn’t hit a ball and he was gutted.

At the end, everyone lined up to shake his hand and that enhanced my view of the game. He’s made some amazing friends at Newton Aycliffe CC.

My plan from here is to do my Level 2 coaching and develop a girls team at each age group. If I can get 100 women and girls playing next year my daughter says, I’ll be ‘bossing it’.

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