Women & Girls
‘Top of the South’ Tournament bridges gap for female cricketers
By NZC Wednesday 29 November 2023, 02:30 pm

The ‘Top of the South (Te tau ihu) Cricket Tournament’ arrived in Nelson this November, seeing five Twenty20 matches played between U18 female teams over three days – all on grass wickets.

Hosted by Wanderers Sports Club in Nelson, the inaugural tournament welcomed four school and club teams from Christchurch, Marlborough and Nelson.

The tournament created history, with the first female cricket match being played at Centennial Park in Brightwater, Tasman.

The reasoning for hosting this tournament was multi-faceted, explained tournament organiser Jolene Cotton.

“We wanted to create an opportunity to get wāhine (females) together to play cricket in a girls-only environment, to bridge the gap between club and representative cricket, and to make new friends,” said Cotton.

“There were so many smiling faces (both coaches, whānau and players), new friendships created, knowledge, experience and passion for the female game of cricket,

“It achieved what I hoped and so much more.”

Wanderers Wāhine eventually won the tournament, winning all three matches and playing some fantastic cricket in the process.

Selwyn Wāhine U16 Girls were another form team – Selwyn player, Elsie Duncan, commented on her experience at the tournament.

“It was a great to go up and give the Nelson girls a chance to play against all-female teams, and for us to play against different teams and spend time with other players,”

“The tournament was well run, and the Wanderers home ground is a very nice facility."

A group of people playing cricket

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Receiving glowing reviews from players and parents alike, Cotton is eager to keep the momentum going.

“We hope to make this an annual event for many years to come, including more teams for next year and more games over the 3 days,”

“The aim is to open the tournament up to any team, club, school or region to attend being inclusive for all wāhine teams that are playing cricket,

“If you have a team of wāhine you want to play cricket, then come along!”.

To enquire about joining the Tournament in November 2024, please contact jolenecotton@hotmail.com.

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