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WACA pushes more inclusive environment

WACA pushes more inclusive environment
WACA pushes more inclusive environment

Today on International Day of People with Disability the Western Australian Cricket Association celebrates the progress it’s making towards cricket becoming a more inclusive sport for all Western Australians.

Cricket participation among people living with a disability in WA has increased 39% over the past season, with more clubs than ever before engaged and running integrated cricket programs offered by the WACA.

The Integrated Cricket League (ICL), supported by the Insurance Commission’s Belt Up road safety awareness campaign, is a key part of the community cricket landscape in the State. The League offers an accessible format of cricket for people with disability to join teams and participate. This integration into the club environment ensures the program is sustainable and community focused. The Insurance Commission funds critical independence-enabling equipment for the ICL and its players.

Belt Up ICL teams will come together on Sunday 13 December at Murdoch University to play in the annual Belt Up Gala Day. The day provides an opportunity to compete against other teams, build participant independence, and celebrate the spirit of cricket.

Insurance Commission Secretary Kane Blackman said the ICL promotes community engagement and boosts the independence of players.

“We support the ICL as it strives for independence and inclusion outcomes that are similar to those sought by the Insurance Commission for its claimants who face a long recovery following a serious injury, “ Blackman said.

“Following a vehicle crash or an accident at work, we want our claimants focused on returning to the community and re-engaging in social and physical activities.

“Sport provides an array of benefits for people’s health and wellbeing, so we are proud to be involved in a program that enables participation for people with a disability, and boosts inclusivity within the cricket community.”

The entry-level Integrated Woolworths Cricket Blast program is now being offered at more than 12 cricket clubs across the State. The modified program, also known as Woolworths StarBlast, aids participant integration into the club environment. Kingsley Woodvale Junior Cricket started the program this season and already have 16 kids signed up, making it the largest Starblast program in WA.

The Autism in Cricket resource being delivered in partnership with the Autism Association of WA, provides resources and training to coaches, volunteers and parents to help break down barriers to participation and support individuals with Autism of all ages to get involved in their local cricket club. This partnership has provided crucial ongoing support to families, staff and clubs to ensure all have a positive experience and are welcomed to an inclusive club community.

The WACA has showcased its commitment to inclusion through its award-winning partnership with Inclusion Solutions, an organisation that supports community clubs and organisations to be better connected to their community. The success of the partnership has resulted in Cricket Australia replicating this agreement across all Australian Cricket.

The WA Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Intellectual Disability and WA Blind and Vision Impaired teams have continued training despite the National Cricket Inclusion Championships being postponed due to COVID-19. Highlights of this amended program include the WA Blind and Vision Impaired team and the WA Deaf and Hard of Hearing team will taking on the South West Regional Cricket Development Programs on Sunday 6 December at the iconic WACA Ground. This will be vital match practice for the WA Deaf and Hard of Hearing team, who will be attempting to qualify for the State-wide T20 Competition.

WACA Inclusion and Diversity Specialist Brad Denham said;

“We are committed to providing opportunities for everyone, no matter their ability, to play or contribute to our great game.

“At the WACA we are striving to make cricket a sport for all and have joined with a number of key partners to help achieve that goal in the community.”

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