Women in cricket: A 97-mile team challenge run in Cardiff

In light of recent events the Cardiff University women’s cricket team is raising awareness of sexual assault against women.

Team picture of the Cardiff University’s Ladies Cricket Club (CULCC) after their previous fundraiser.

Cardiff University’s Ladies Cricket club is doing a 97-mile challenge run split amongst 12 of their players to keep the conversation around sexual assault going.

The team chose the Survivor Trust’s cause to show their solidarity as women and to use their athleticism to bring change. From 28th March to 3rd April, they’ll be taking this opportunity to continue raising awareness for the sexual harassment and abuse women have been facing. 

A member of the team, Rhiannon Evans, said, “I believe that the treatment of women is so prominent and crucial an issue that I will do anything I can to help. And I am so glad that the women’s cricket team has given me an opportunity to do something.”

The team’s last practice session before the lockdown started in December.

In recent studies, it has been found that 97% of women aged 18-24 have been sexually harassed in public spaces. This alarming percentage drove the team to organise this fundraiser to contribute to the Survivors Trust.

This charity organisation provides support and therapy for the survivors of such incidents. Their core aim is to ensure that society supports all survivors effectively and takes responsibility for ending sexual violence.

President of the cricket club, Lydia Rickenbach, said, “We believe the money raised will be distributed out to smaller charities that directly help those affected by sexual harassment and in some cases contribute to safe houses to protect them.”

Teamwork and a group of women just before breaking out to run by Unsplash.

In light of the Sarah Everard case, women all over the country are actively protesting for their voices to be heard. These protests aren’t only for Sarah specifically, but also for all the women who have faced and have been facing these incidents. 

Over 1,400 women have been murdered in the last decade in the UK with an average of one murder every three days. While Sarah Everard’s case has urged everyone to fight for justice, it is important to raise awareness constantly.

As Rhiannon Evans said, “The Sarah Everard case is important in that it provided a catalyst but the issue has been around for as long any other. So I wouldn’t say that it is important for these fundraisers to occur now only because of this incident, but rather because of all the other countless cases that didn’t and don’t get media attention.”

The data collected by itv.com about sexual harassment cases in the last decade and in recent times paints a grim picture.

Around 96% of women don’t report the incidents to the police. Half of them believe that by reporting them, it wouldn’t change anything. This raises a serious question of how much faith women in the UK have in the authorities.

Another member, Francesca Sutcliffe said, “Out of everyone I know who has been harassed, they’ve never reported it. I feel like many people don’t report it because they think what’s the point. So maybe that rhetoric needs to change as well.”

So while the lockdown restrictions may have paused the team’s practice sessions, it didn’t stop them from coming together for this fundraiser. The 97-mile run was created to make every woman of the 97% count. 

As Francesca Sutcliffe said, “This fundraiser doesn’t just support services that are underfunded, just by sharing our charity page it helps more people to see it. Thus creating a bigger conversation about violence against women.”