Hell. Yes. Women’s. Sport.
Participation numbers for women in cricket are skyrocketing at the moment, thanks in large part to the success of the Australian Southern Stars side, the visibility of the game thanks to broadcasts of women’s international cricket, and more importantly the highly competitive domestic Women’s Big Bash League, as well as an upswing in encouragement and general posi vibes for the women’s game over recent years.
Record participation numbers last summer have not gone unnoticed by the game’s national governing body Cricket Australia, and as a result today the board has announced a groundbreaking $4million investment into grassroots and junior level cricket for women.
The Growing Cricket for Girls fund will provide lower levels of the women’s game with better coaching facilities, as well as boosted resources for clubs, schools, and leagues to maintain a firm commitment to the game in order to nurture and develop player skills.
$1million per year over four years will be pumped into club and school-level women’s cricket, which will involve the employment of full-time female participation specialists, who will work to create pathways for women to forge careers in the sport.
Clubs and secondary schools will also be able to apply for grants of $2,000 a piece under the program.
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of CA announcing a huge pay increase
for Australia’s top class female cricketers, meaning the Southern Stars become the highest paid female team sport athletes in the nation.
At the announcement, held at the MCG earlier today, Stars wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy stressed the importance of dedicated grassroots competitions for female cricketers, particularly at junior levels.
“I know from my own experience, coming through community cricket that dedicated competitions for girls to play against other girls of the same age will have a huge impact.”
Meanwhile CA boss James Sutherland asserted the board’s commitment to building on the record participation numbers and growing the game into a position of strength and prosperity.
“Whilst cricket has had a national female competition for 70 years, we are committed to further investment to grow the female game. Our female cricketers are wonderful role models and we are delighted to see their increasing exposure inspiring more and more girls to play.”
WOMEN’S CRICKET. YES MATES.
Photo: Robert Cianflone/Getty.