Cricket Becoming a Sport for All
The number of junior club girls team has increased by 29%, across the state, with 34% of WA participation being female.
This growth is largely due to an increased focus on growing cricket for women and girls by clubs and associations and a lot of hard work from volunteers, driving a more inclusive environment.
Leading this change are local clubs like Quinns Rock Junior CC, Wembley Districts Junior CC and Ascot Eagles Junior CC.
Quinns Rock Junior CC was awarded the 2019 Australia’s Community Cricket Club of the Year award for their work in enhancing the cricket experience for in the club, as well as offering the Sunset Scorchers social cricket program for women aimed at encouraging mums to play.
Wembley Districts Junior CC is WA’s biggest club in terms of Junior Girls teams with eight teams across four age groups. Leading the way for female club culture with initiatives to provide a great environment for girls like using older girls to coach and mentor younger age groups.
Ascot Eagles Junior CC have teams across multiple age groups in the Perth Scorchers Girls League and are also one of the clubs to partner with the Team Connect Program to ensure cricket is accessible to all girls, regardless of their background and life circumstances.
The diversity of people playing cricket in WA continues to increase, with nearly 3% growth across multicultural, Indigenous and cricketers with a disability numbers.
Joondalup Kinross CC are a leading the way to become the first WA cricket club to create a pathway from juniors to seniors for cricketers with a disability. Winners of the RAC WA Community Club of the Year award, they are providing opportunities for players of all backgrounds and abilities.
A total of 200, 261 West Australians participated in cricket over the past 12 months, a decline of less than 1% on last year. This is predominantly due to the closure of an indoor cricket centre resulting in the loss of both junior and senior players.
However, the overall trend of participation in WA over a number of years shows strong growth, with total numbers increasing by 44% in the past five years.
In a bid to engage new juniors players, the WACA has worked with clubs and associations to offer the new and exciting Woolworths Cricket Blast program with 6,552 kids participating in 255 programs up from 233 on last year.
Growth was also seen in the number of senior club players (18594 up 4.6%) and school program participation (139054 up 1.4%).
Schools participation continued to grow with 60% of WA schools engaged in the delivery of cricket programs, reaching 139054 students.
Speaking on the results, WACA CEO, Christina Matthews said:
“These numbers reflect that cricket is becoming a more diverse sport. It’s encouraging to see the work that community clubs, with the help of the WACA, are doing to offer cricket experiences in a more inclusive environment.
“It all comes down to the selfless work that our club volunteers do, they are the backbone of community sport and cricket wouldn’t be in the strong position it is without them.
“There are a lot of positives to take out of this data; growth in female teams, growth in diversity, growth in senior club players and a 71% retention rate in junior cricket.
“There is a lot to be excited about as we head into season 2019/20. We look forward to seeing more players in our game than ever before and will continue to strive to be a sport for all.”