The UK Armed Forces Ladies cricket team are currently on tour in Kenya, raising awareness of domestic violence in the process.
Teaming up with Cricket Kenya, the delegation of 18 Women have travelled from the UK with an aim of using cricket to raise awareness of gender based violence and showcasing women in sport.
During the tour, UK Armed Forces team will take part in various cricket matches across Nairobi and Nakuru against the national women’s cricket team and visit local schools and communities to run coaching sessions.
Along with the games, the two countries will have the opportunity to talk about the success and challenges of women in sport as well as issues of gender based violence sharing best practice.
The tour will culminate in a community #BowlingOutDV festival which will be played by past players and high profile names from Kenya.
Discussing the tour, UK Armed Forces Team Manager Ros Brown said: “The United Kingdom Armed Forces Ladies cricket are delighted and honoured to be touring Kenya this autumn, in partnership with Cricket Kenya and Opening Boundaries. Participation in sport is important within the Armed Forces as it builds teamwork, leadership and respect.
“We are very much looking forward to showcasing the game we love in Kenya and engaging with local schools and communities during our visit. Sport has the power to inspire and empower women and girls from all backgrounds; it can provide them with a platform to develop and better achieve their potential. This once in a lifetime opportunity also offers the opening, through sport, to raise awareness of the challenges faced in addressing violence against women and girls.”
Statistics from the latest UN data on different forms of violence against women and girls in Kenya indicates, forty-five percent of women have experienced physical violence with fourteen percent been sexual whilst twenty-one percent of women age 15-49 have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Bowling Out Domestic Violence Tour
So far, the UK Armed Forces team have taken part in a number of matches against their Kenyan counterparts. Their first hard fought game ended up with a 72 run loss to the Kenya Ladies Cricket Team in a 40 overs game at the Sikh Union Club Ground in Nairobi.
The home team were boosted by the mens’ team coming down to support their female counterparts.
Wednesday saw the first competitive all-female match held at the Gymkhana Ground which also ended in defeat for the British team with Kenya winning by 8 wickets with 30 balls to spare.
Sir Ali Muslim Club was host to to the next fixture which was also won by the Kenyan team by 45 runs, with the Brits finishing on 158 for 9 in their 40 overs.
On Friday night, Kenyan MP Sonia Birdi invited the visiting cricketers to a Hindu festival.
— Lisa Marr (@lisamarr72) September 29, 2017
Saturday saw the cricketers running a training session with youngsters from the Mathare slum alongside former Kenyan cricket captain Kenya Tom Tikolo who led the country in 22 ICC Trophy games, more than any other player. However, he only played one first class match, but recorded an impressive score of 79 in a single innings.
After ending his playing career, Tikolo became the development officer for East Africa. In 2005, he was named as the new CEO of Cricket Kenya and also as a national selector.
You can keep up to date with the latest from the UK Armed Forces Ladies Cricket Team’s tour of Kenya by following their Twitter feed.