There has been a noticeable surge of interest in women’s cricket – more airtime, more spectators and fast gains in popularity with riveting play at the recent ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup.
South African fitness and health brand, Planet Fitness has stepped up to support top-level cricket team; the Titans – by backing the Ladies Team with a sponsorship for the 2022 season. “South Africa is producing some very talented club and provincial cricketers, and the Titans Ladies are a real team to watch,” says Mannee de Wet, co-founder and MD of Planet Fitness at an announcement this week.
Women’s coach, Byron Fraser is delighted that more attention is being directed at the team which has won several games considering the severely Covid-19 delayed season. “We are training hard for our next round of matches,” says captain, Robyn Searle, “the experience around us has raised our standard to another level, and this showed in our run in the Women’s Provincial One Day Cup.” Planet Fitness will provide access to world-class high-performance training facilities and equipment to keep the cricketers’ fitness at optimum levels. The backing of kit and training facilities through the brand is another stroke of confidence for the team, particularly at a time when there’s a good energy amongst the players.
Last year Planet Fitness became an Official Olympic Team Training Facility after supporting SASCOC and the South African Olympic and Paralympic teams to improve their medal-winning ability at the Tokyo Olympics – a four-year commitment that will carry athletes through to both the 2022 Commonwealth Games, and the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024.
“Sports talent is part of our nation’s DNA, yet the reality is that our professional sportspeople often can’t get all the backing they need; so as a truly homegrown health and fitness brand – Planet Fitness started with one club 25 years ago and we’ve grown to 46 Clubs through pure grit and passion – we feel a huge sense of service and gratitude to those who stand for peak performance, and this is what has driven us to show a hand of support to our women cricketers,” says de Wet. “Our world is health and fitness and so our investment is one of health and fitness, and we are doing this in the spirit of unity in a very tough environment for sportswomen.”
Next year, the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup will be held on home soil, and Planet Fitness, along with South Africans will be watching in anticipation for more breath-taking moments in women’s cricket. From a trend perspective, the upturn in the popularity of women’s cricket took on a whole new meaning at the 2020 World Cup Final, which was the most attended women’s cricket match in history with over 86 000 fans filling the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the India vs Australia final. “We can’t wait to see what the future holds as we gather more spectators and supporters of the women’s game here at home for the Titans, and on a global scale,” says De Wet.