September 24, 2023

Edgbaston’s Historic All-Women Grounds Team for Ashes Clash

Ashes fever returns to Edgbaston on July 1st, with England Women set to take on Australia in the first of three IT20 matches. A remarkable moment awaits as Edgbaston proudly presents an all-women grounds team, marking a significant milestone for women in cricket.

Edgbaston has assembled a team of eight highly skilled female sports turf specialists, led by Meg Lay, Sports Turf Operative at Gloucestershire CCC’s Seat Unique Stadium. This groundbreaking initiative aims to inspire and encourage young women and girls to explore career paths in cricket, breaking through gender barriers within the sports turf industry.

Lay, one of the pioneering female ground staff members in professional cricket, hopes that their involvement will pave the way for more women to follow their dreams. She emphasizes the importance of women preparing the stages on which women’s cricket is played, ensuring a thriving future for the sport. Meg’s passion for her job shines through, finding joy in being outdoors all day and witnessing elite athletes play on pitches she has meticulously prepared.

Preparing the pitch for an Ashes match is a career highlight for Meg and her team. Alongside Lay, Sports Turf Operatives Jasmine Nicholls, Tara Sandford, Rachel Hunter-Worrall, Carlie Lambert, Emily Geach, Elizabeth Parker, and Zoe Jones bring their expertise and talents to create a pitch worthy of this prestigious occasion.

Claire Daniel, the Operations Director at Edgbaston Stadium, expresses excitement about this long-planned initiative. The match is expected to draw a record crowd for a women’s game in the country, with nearly 20,000 tickets already sold. Claire encourages young women to explore opportunities in grounds management and sports, suggesting options such as Turf Management or Sports Turf Management courses and volunteering at local clubs.

The Women in Cricket Employee Network, which both Lay and Daniel are a part of, has provided valuable support for this all-women grounds team initiative. Claire Dale, Chief People Officer at ECB and executive sponsor of the Women in Cricket Employee Network, acknowledges the need for increased representation of women in various professional roles within cricket. The ECB actively champions women in the game, employing targeted interventions and campaigns to attract more women applicants.

Edgbaston’s all-women grounds team for the England Women vs. Australia IT20 series is a milestone achievement, highlighting the expanding opportunities for women in cricket. Their dedication and expertise set a powerful example for aspiring young women. Explore the possibilities within grounds management by visiting the Grounds Management Association website, and consider volunteering opportunities through the ECB’s Cricket Collective.

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