Abbie Rushby is blazing a trail for women's cricket at Farnsfield

Teenager Abbie Rushby is hoping to develop a full women's cricket team at Farnsfield CC after becoming the first female to achieve her ECB coaching qualification.

Monday, 24th January 2022, 10:09 am
Abbie Rushby - ECB qualified coach at 17.
Abbie Rushby - ECB qualified coach at 17.

The 17-year-old seam bowler, from Farnsfield, has also accepted an offer to be vice-captain for the full men's third team this summer.

“I had been playing for a while and knew I wanted to develop more - and I had seen what my coaches have done for me,” she said.

“So when the opportunity came up in October that there was going to be a women's only course I knew it was something I wanted to do.

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Abbie Rushby - part of Farnsfield's Sunday side last season.

“I had spoken to a few of my coaches about it, especially as I knew we had no women's coaches at the club and we have just had a lot of young girls started playing for us.

“It is something I've wanted to do for a year or so but I have only just been presented with the opportunity to do so as you can't take the foundation course until you're 17 and I can't now get my certificate until I am 18.

“I am the youngest coach at the club right now, though a couple of the boys were my age when they first got their qualifications. But I am the only girl.

“I wanted to better myself as a player and I think that helping other people should help me develop.

“Becoming a coach wasn’t just about me and wanting to prove that I could do it – for me being a coach is about players and what I can do for the players.

"As a coach I hope to give others the opportunities that I was given by my coaches and in doing this encourage others to play and be apart of our club.

"I want my coaching to show girls that they too, like their brothers and friends can play cricket and hope to be a role model and be apart of Farnsfield Cricket Clubs future."

Abbie sees herself as a potential role model for the young girls and wants to take them through to senior cricket.

“This last season we've had a girls only softball team at my club,” she said.

“Through doing psychology for my A-levels at school, I have learned that girls focus more on female role models. So I thought this maybe a really good opportunity to develop female cricket at my club as it should be.

“The girls played Kwik Cricket last season with only male coaches, but I am hoping to be a part of that this season.

“They can play Kwik Cricket until they are 11 before they develop into hardball. And most of the girls are aged seven to nine, so we are hoping we can continue to play Kwik Cricket this season – there are 12/13 of them and we're hoping they will all develop together.”

She added: “When I was aged seven, eight, nine there were only four girls we trained with and we played with the boys.

“Although it was a great opportunity for me I knew that playing on a girls team with other girls would have probably been a bit more socially active for me. I am hoping to give that opportunity to other girls at the club that are hoping to play cricket.

“I am hoping if they stick around long enough they will want to play full hardball cricket, not only for themselves but just to want to play more. “Currently we don't have many females who play hardball or senior cricket at my club – there's only two of us. So I am hoping they will want to develop that further.”

Abbie is happy to play alongside the men for now.

“I have played for Notts from U10s/U11s development through to U15s,” she said.

“Then because of Covid everything got a bit lost in translation with sport and everything in general.

“But if the opportunity presented itself again it's something I'd like to go for again as I currently only play for a men's team.

“I played for Farnsfield's men's second team, but this season I have been offered the opportunity to be our third team vice captain which is a huge step for me in my cricket.

“I have also been speaking to my PE teachers at Minster School in Southwell about doing cricket after school for the younger ones to see if we can get some more interest for our cricket club.

“I help out at school anyway with PE lessons as a subject ambassador and with my A-level PE.

“So I am hoping to develop some sort of after school for the summer to try to get more interest in cricket as I don't think many kids know how to get involved as much as they should.”