Round Your Way

HUNDREDS of women across Wigan Borough have been getting back into the swing of sporting success thanks to an old school favourite.

For more than two years, the borough’s sports fields have been echoing with the regular resounding ‘thwack’ of wood on leather, as part of the Wigan’s very own Rounders League.

Teams of women from all over Wigan regularly compete for the top honours in this fast-paced sport.

Created and organised by Inspiring healthy lifestyles, the Wigan Rounders League sees eight teams training and competing in mid-week matches.

Inspiring healthy lifestyles coach Anna Leyland explains: “We are always looking for new ways to get more people in our borough interested in sport and physical activity as part of our Back to Sport initiative. We thought that rounders would be a great choice.

“We initially made contact with some of the cricket clubs across the borough to see if the female relatives of the players would be interested in running sessions. We were really taken back by the response.”

Each newly formed club is given all the equipment they need to play the game. They also take part in regular team training sessions run by Inspiring healthy lifestyles staff, to help them organise their own sessions and make the programme more sustainable.

“We get ladies of all ages and walks of life involved,” said Anna. “For many it is a return to a sport they will have not played since school and they love it. You need good co-ordination and be able to get round the field, so it is a great way to keep fit.”

Anna added: “For everyone involved it’s a way of having a bit of fun and socialising, but it can get very competitive at times as well.”

Last updated: 22 February 2018
Rounders resurgence - More than 250 women now playing in the borough.
Rounders resurgence - More than 250 women now playing in the borough.

The ladies from the Springview Cricket Club are just one of the teams taking part in the league. They use the sports hall at The Deanery High School as their regular winter training camp.

Team member Sue Rudd loves the sessions so much that she’s also convinced her daughter Katie to get involved.

“It’s something we both love doing,” said Sue. “We got involved through the cricket club and just haven’t looked back. The league is really friendly. It’s also a great way of keeping fit because you are having such a good time that you don’t even realise you are doing it.”

While fellow Rounders buff Zoe Walker from Hindley, admits that after signing up a year ago, she’s hooked.

“I heard about it, came along and have loved it ever since. The training is fun and then taking part in the matches is really exciting but for me it’s also about meeting new people and just having a laugh together. This year we even had a Christmas party.”

“I would say to anyone, come along and give it a go, you really won’t regret it.”

Since the League began, inspiring healthy lifestyles has involved more than 250 women in the project. And there’s always room for a few more.

“The Rounders League begins again in April and we are keen to expand it to include even more people,” said Anna. “It’s a great team sport and pretty easy to grasp the basics. If you want to get involved or even start your own team, give us a call and we can help you get into the swing of it.”