Cricket Australia’s campaign to encourage young girls in cricket
Future opportunities for girls who wish to play professional cricket are bright and women’s cricket is riding a wave of unprecedented success and opportunity on the back of significant investment by Cricket Australia.
In what is the country’s single largest investment in women’s sport and diversity sports programs, Commonwealth Bank is extending its partnership with Cricket Australia beyond 30 years by investing more than $5 million per year over three years in a partnership focused on women’s cricket, Indigenous players, players with a disability and local clubs around the country.
Commonwealth Bank’s female-focused investment will provide girls with a greater awareness of, and access to, the cricket pathway and inspire them to play elite cricket.
(South Australian Cricket Association young cricketers with WBBL Strikers player, Samantha Betts. Photo: Supplied)
Cricket Australia have also announced increased total investment in the Growing Cricket for Girls Fund. This will increase awareness of and access to pathway opportunities for girls, particularly all-girls competitions around the country.
The Growing Cricket for Girls Fund was launched in July with a $4 million investment over four years. Half of this was allocated to launch new, and develop existing, girls-only cricket leagues.
It will mean the formation of 46 new all-girls’ competitions and the expansion of 11 existing competitions. A total of 534 new and existing girls and women’s cricket teams will benefit from the funding.
In addition, a further $300,000 p.a. has been committed towards additional support for clubs to create more inclusive and welcoming environments for females.
Cricket Australia have made significant progress in researching what motivates girls to become involved in the sport, and identified gaps in the player pathway. One of the key learnings was that girls from the age of 11-18 prefer to play in all-girl teams, whereas younger girls are satisfied to play in mixed teams.
The South Australian Cricket Association have developed female cricket in SA with a new Strikers Girls Cricket League, aimed at encouraging an environment for girls and including female-only change rooms.”
“Girls who take up cricket now will reap the rewards of future opportunities. Our aim is to create awareness that cricket is a sport for all, not just a sport for boys,” said Adelaide Strikers General manager, Bronwyn Klei,
“To play one day for the Women’s Big Bash League has become a realistic goal, rather than a distant dream.”
While there is still some work to be done to close the gender gap, opportunities for women in the sport have never been more progressive and exciting with increasing pay rates, increased media exposure and the opportunity to play in front of thousands of fans.
With the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) in its second year, the success of 2015 drew significant attention from sponsors and fans.
As recent as October, Statewide Superannuation signed as a new major sponsor for the Adelaide Strikers. “It is an exciting time for women’s sport and Statewide will play a crucial role in supporting our women’s cricketers and building the profile of the WBBL,” said Ms. Klei.
The Breezair SA Scorpions are into the third year of a deal with Major Sponsor Seely International while NSW’s women’s cricketers have just become full-time professional off the back of support from Lendlease.
For parents who wish to introduce their child to cricket or join a local club, visit: