Dame Allan's Sisters celebrate Northumberland County Cricket Success

L-R_ Emmie and Zara are keen cricket players at Dame Allan's Schools

Above: (L-R) Emmie and Zara are passionate about cricket

Zara (Y8) and Emmie Cartmell (Y5) are flying the flag for young girls in cricket, having both secured positions to play for Northumberland County following strong support from their teachers at Dame Allan's.

Zara, aged 13, plays for both the Northumberland under-13 and under-15 teams. She was recently awarded the title of under-13 Northumberland player of the season and is now part of their Emerging Player Pathway (EPP). This specialised programme is designed to help develop exceptionally talented players at county level, to help them progress in their cricketing careers.

The talented teen, who has been playing cricket since the age of nine, found extra support with her cricketing career when she joined Dame Allan’s Junior School in September 2020 and got involved with school cricket. Arrangements were made for the gifted youngster to play on the boys’ team, to help her develop her talents even further. This support has continued as she made her way up into the Senior School, where she now balances her studies with her passion for the sport. 

Zara said: “Dame Allan’s has been brilliant because they arranged for me to play on the boys’ cricket team at both Junior and Senior School. This has really helped me develop my skills and although it can be an extra pressure to be the only girl on the team, it’s made me focus and work harder.”

Zara’s younger sister Emmie, aged 10, has now joined Zara to represent Northumberland County, and is currently playing her first season for the under-11 squad. She was inspired by her older sister, having spent a lot of time watching Zara at matches (as well as her older brother Rory).

Emmie, who currently attends Dame Allan's Junior School, took up cricket aged eight. When asked about her achievements in representing Northumberland, she said: “I feel proud and excited to be doing the same as my sister. I’m also curious to know what the other team will be like and how fast they will bowl at me!”

Zara added: “Putting on my county kit always makes me feel excited because I enjoy playing so much, but I also get a bit nervous! My county and club coaches are so inspirational, and I am also inspired by Northern Diamonds cricketer Lizzie Scott. She played for Northumberland growing up, is a bowler like me and is now a professional cricketer. Emmie and I were lucky enough to meet her last year at our club and she was really fun and chatted to us for ages.”

Zara and Emmie are enthusiastic about encouraging more young girls to try their hand at cricket; with Zara explaining: “It’s a great way to make friends and grow in confidence. Cricket is really fun to play because it requires different technical skills to other sports and you can play softball or hardball so everyone can enjoy it.”

Speaking about their daughters’ success , parents Clare and James Cartmell commented: “It’s great to see Emmie enjoying her cricket as much as Zara. Their teachers at Dame Allan’s are always so excited for them and supportive. We are particularly appreciative of the school coaches giving Zara and Emmie the opportunity to play cricket with both the boys and the girls as this has really helped their development. They have been really encouraging and the boys have been really welcoming.”

Mr Will Scott, Principal at Dame Allan’s Schools, added: “At Dame Allan’s we encourage every pupil to follow their passion, so it is fantastic to see Zara and Emmie do just that. We now have a great crop of cricketing girls at Dame Allan's, who take part in lots of competitive fixtures, and it is fantastic to see more girls getting involved in the sport.

"Cricketing girls at Dame Allan's also recently enjoyed an inspirational trip to Durham County Cricket Club, to watch England take on the New Zealand women's team!"