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International Women's Day- Jasmine Nicholls- Yorkshire Cricket Club

We spoke to Jasmine Nicholls, part of the grounds team at Yorkshire County Cricket Ground about her journey into the industry.

 

Tell me a bit about yourself and how you got into the cricket grounds industry

My name is Jasmine Nicholls and I am a groundsperson for Yorkshire County Cricket Club. I have been there full time for just under a year. Before that, I was working as a casual on one of their Outgrounds (Weetwood) which was also where I worked full time for the University of Leeds as an Assistant Duty Manager.

I got into working in the grounds industry during Covid. I used to walk past Weetwood a lot during Covid and I got talking to Richard Robinson, who was looking after the cricket square at the time. I would take him cups of tea to help keep him going and we would sit and talk. When the games started up again he would say that it was a lot of work to cover up and do various other jobs when it was just him working. Eventually, I persuaded him to let me help him. If I wasn’t working or training then I would be at Weetwood helping out on the square. A year ago, he became the Head of Grounds for YCCC and opened up some full time jobs. One of which I got and never looked back or regretted my decision to join his team.

 

Have you ever faced any challenges being a female in the industry? 

Nothing at all. Ever since I joined, everyone has been friendly and supportive. Sometimes, you get people walking into the grounds garage and saying “lads” or “fellas” which can make me feel like I shouldn't be there but I don't see that as a challenge. I see that as a perception of what used to be a norm, they never mean it in an upsetting way. If they realise they apologise for it. It is something that will take time to change and after time, it will.

 

 What needs to be done to get more people into the industry?

More often than not, people come into this industry because they fell into it by mistake. A lot of people don’t grow up thinking it's what they want to do in the future. We need to showcase the industry as a whole and show people what a great place it can be. Events like the all female grounds teams help with that because the industry gets advertised more. We need to do more as a whole industry though. You get careers fairs at universities, go to those or go into schools and give people the opportunity to give certain aspects of the job a go. We can then point them to the Grounds Management Association for courses or to their local club so they can help out there.

 

You recently took part in the ALL female grounds teams at cricket and football…. Tell me a bit about this and how important it is for attracting young girls and women into the industry

It was amazing to be able to experience what it is like in other sports and to see how they operate as a grounds team. It’s great for us as females to be able to meet other women in the industry too. I think it’s important to do and go to occasions like this because you never know who is in the crowd and who might take inspiration from something you’ve done. It shouldn't matter if that is a young girl or boy. Our job at events like these is to inspire everyone and to show that we can and will be a part of this industry. It is an industry that is struggling to recruit, so it is down to us to change that and to change people's mindset of it being a male industry.

 

What advice would you give to other women aspiring to pursue a career in groundskeeping or other areas within the cricket industry?

Go for it!! If you’re unsure if it is a career for you, go to your local club and talk to whoever looks after the ground there. See if you can help them out for a little while (I doubt they turn down an extra helping hand!). If you enjoy it then look for jobs on the Grounds Management Association. Or just have a look around their website, there are all sorts of interesting bits of information on there. If anyone has any questions then I’m more than happy for them to reach out to me on social media to ask questions about the job.

 

You can find Jasmine on Twitter here . Don't be afraid to reach out to here for advice!

 

 

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