To understand the Stingers is to understand where we came from.
Sonning CC excitedly announced that, for the 2020 season, we were forming a new Women’s Cricket Team - Sonning Stingers.
It was an idea formed at a Junior BBQ that grew arms and legs very quickly! What was the best way of attracting as many women to a new sport – one they were familiar with but not many had played? Welcome to Soft Ball Cricket; it is competitive, but the emphasis is on having fun, without the need for a lot of skill, fitness, pads, helmets, etc, in other words a great introduction to the game for those who haven’t played before. A simpler game for the beginner, as it is played in a “pairs format”, similar to junior-age cricket, can be played indoors or outdoors and a full game normally lasts approximately 1.5 hours.
Sonning Stingers was launched in late 2019 and with a few sessions of training under our belt, we entered our first tournament, the friendly Ladies Soft Ball Cricket Tournament, in December 2019 run by Berkshire Cricket Foundation, which saw us sporting our new matching T-shirts and festive headgear! We came 4th out of 5, running close to 3rd, had immense fun and were very proud to do so well in our first ever proper games.
After a break over the winter, enforced upon us by the global pandemic, summer 2020 saw an explosion in numbers and before we knew it, we were welcoming many women of different ages, abilities, sporting backgrounds and interests to our outdoor training. As the world tried to return to some form or normality, we were able to play a couple of friendlies and participate in a few tournaments against some more experienced teams. We had no problem in selecting teams – in fact we had too many to choose from at times, but in true Stinger spirit, we made it work. We have some Stingers that only like to train, and that is a testament to how easy going we are and how there is no pressure on anyone. Our ‘availability’ would be the envy of many Senior Men’s Captains.
2020 amazingly saw us undefeated! We like to think that it was the training and our newly honed skills, but maybe there was an element of beginner’s luck too.
What next? We entered a team in the Berkshire Women’s Soft Ball cricket league and 2021 saw us attending the Berkshire WSB Finals at Windsor where we came an extremely respectable 2nd. As we were continuing to evolve Women’s cricket, we put together our first hard ball team. Alas the Spring weather was against us and we only got to play one game in the HCWCL (Home Counties Women’s Cricket League) Super 8's development league. A suitably less challenging entry into hard ball cricket for a team where most people have never worn pads and a helmet! It is played in ‘pairs’ but with, yep, a hard ball and therefore, full protective kit is required.
2022 saw us being more prepared, better Spring weather and coming a very respectable 3rd in the Super 8s league - with the first two teams having experienced county players - we did well, and enjoyed the experience of playing a full set of league fixtures.
We also leave the Summer season behind us as Berkshire Women's Softball Champions - with a clean sweep at the final. 2022 was a great day for development - our squad currently ranges from 15 to 55+ years old and we welcome anyone to come along and see if Cricket is for you.
Women’s training is at Waingels in the Winter and King Georges Field in the Summer (April onwards), Tuesdays 6-8pm. We cannot stress enough that we welcome anyone that just wants to ‘come along and see’.
If you are interested in joining us please WhatsApp/Text: 07831238784 or Email: [email protected]