After winning the Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation's (GCF) 35 over league in summer 2023, the Cheltenham Cricket Club's women's team has been invited to compete in the Women's West of England Premier League in 2024.
There's no automatic right of promotion to the league, so after eagerly awaiting to see if they would be included, the team will now set off across the south west of England, facing opposition in Wiltshire and Somerset.
Team Captain, Jen Cooper said: 'We are incredibly excited by this opportunity and relish the challenge.
'This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the entire squad. To think women's cricket at Cheltenham only formally started in 2018, to now be in the premier competition five years later is outstanding.'
Hoping to continue its track record of success, the first group of junior girls is making their way up to senior cricket and a second women's team is being formed to accommodate the growing interest — with more than 100 young girls playing regularly at the club in 2023.
Additionally, last summer saw the under-11 and under-13 softball teams, as well as the under-13 hardball teams, all claim victory in their respective leagues.
The team heading to the Premier League matches will be joined by new signing, New Zealander Georgia Atkinson — the club's first female overseas player — with high hopes she will extend the team's winning potential throughout the 2024 season.
Luke Sellers, director of cricket at Cheltenham Cricket Club, hailed the signing as a game changer for the club: 'Having secured someone of Georgia’s class and experience is a real coup for the club.
'As well as making significant contributions on the pitch, she will also have a huge impact off it as a skilled coach and role model for our young players.
'Not only will she improve the team she plays in, I hope she will also be
a trailblazer for other female players to follow in her footsteps and seek to
play both women’s and men’s cricket for Cheltenham.'