Girls get in on the action at Hawick

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A NOT-so-quiet revolution is currently taking place in the Borders town of Hawick – a place usually accustomed to the sound of clattering textile mill-machinery, horses’ hooves and revellers at the Common Riding, as well as the thud of gristle and muscle at Mansfield Park, but not usually the sound of girls playing cricket.

It’s not just one or two involved in Hawick & Wilton Cricket Club junior sessions either, but a veritable Borders horde.

Undaunted by the threat of April showers and the damp conditions, 57 girls, ranging from P4 to P7 from Hawick primary schools, along with a visiting team form Gatehouse of Fleet Primary School, took part in the very first girls-only Kwik Cricket Festival at Buccleuch Park.

Sadly, the weather curtailed proceedings, but not before the festival managed two successful games and had the final word as local organiser Allan Moffat and Borders cricket development manager Neil Cameron set up a girls’ only section at the cricket club, which will see training start tomorrow evening at 6.30pm.

The usually-reserved Moffat couldn’t contain his delight at the popularity of the game he has spent so long promoting around the schools in Hawick.

“Six years ago the club was on its last legs and we doubted whether we would have a club at all,” he told TheSouthern.

“But if you told me then that we would have so many girls playing cricket here I wouldn’t have believed you – I still don’t believe it myself.”

Indeed, this event was organised not only to gauge the interest of girls’ cricket in Hawick, but also launch the sixth annual Hawick Primary Schools League.

This year, the league will be contested by 12 teams playing against each other over a six-week block; four of the teams are from one school, Drumlanrig St Cuthberts, which also sent the most number of girls (12) to the festival.

Steve Paige, head of community development, will present the prizes on June 16 and there will not only be the 120 participants (a third of them girls) but their parents, grandparents, siblings and teachers will all have the opportunity to enjoy a festival of cricket.

“This is a major success story for the Borders and is a development model that clearly works. The league has gone from strength to strength since inception and finals day is a sight to behold,” added Cameron.