Kia Motors UK Limited have partnered with The Cricketer magazine to launch the Kia Summer Smash – a unique new competition for recreational women cricketers giving them the opportunity to play at the Kia Oval and be crowned Kia Summer Smash champions.
Kia is a long-term supporter of women’s professional cricket through sponsorship of the England Women’s cricket team and being title sponsors of the Kia Super League. The Kia Summer Smash is the perfect way to join up the sponsorship of elite and recreational women’s cricket.
The competition, open to all women’s clubs in the UK, will take place over four weekends during the height of summer at regional festivals, with the winner of each regional festival competing at the Kia Oval on Friday September 20 to become the Kia Summer Smash champions.
Played in an exciting T10 format, each regional festival will be contested by 12 teams, with the sides split into groups to ensure they enjoy a number of competitive games, before a final to determine the winner.
As well as competitive cricket, each regional festival will host fun family activities for spectators including coaching masterclasses run by former Ashes winner Lydia Greenway, through her coaching programme Cricket for Girls.
Kia Marketing Director David Hilbert said of the new competition: “At Kia we are very proud of our record in supporting women’s cricket. Until now our support has been focused on the professional game and we are therefore delighted to be able to extend our support to the recreational game through the launch of the Kia Summer Smash.
“We believe the Kia Summer Smash will provide a wonderful opportunity for hundreds of grassroots female cricketers to play competitive cricket in a fun festival atmosphere, with four lucky teams competing at the iconic Kia Oval.”
Guy Evans-Tipping, Chief Executive of The Cricketer Publishing Ltd, added: “Working with Kia on this competition is a great honour for us. Raising participation in cricket is the most important challenge facing our game.
“Giving opportunities to hundreds of recreational cricketers through the Kia Summer Smash is a wonderful initiative and we look forward to working with Kia to deliver a fantastic festival of cricket this summer.”
Lydia Greenaway, England Ashes winner and founder of Cricket for Girls commented “As we continue on our quest to inspire more females to take up the game of cricket, we are delighted to be supporting this competition. There are 1,000’s of females around the UK who have the passion and hunger to be playing more cricket, and it is vital that we facilitate this. Cricket is a fantastic sport, and if offered within the right environment and using the right formats we can ensure females especially, reap the benefits from the game and have a memorable experience which I am confident this tournament will provide.”
Gabi Brown, captain of Plumtree Ladies CC in Nottinghamshire, added: “When I told our team about the Kia Summer Smash tournament the immediate reaction was ‘Fantastic, we’ve got to get involved in this!’ The opportunity to play in a brilliantly organised tournament, at a great venue and to be treated like cricket stars was irresistible. Our girls cannot wait for the tournament to begin.”