Growing Cricket for Girls additional funding announced
A huge appetite for cricket for girls and women has prompted Cricket Australia to double its new funding pool this year. 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.
But the level of interest from associations, clubs and schools across the country, totalling 392 grant applications, has prompted CA to commit another $500,000 over the next 12 months – doubling that direct funding.
Successful applicants will receive grants of $2,000 for clubs and schools, and $10,000 for associations, over the next two years. 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. Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars Captain Meg Lanning joined Vice-captain Alex Blackwell at the announcement.
“Cricket has provided me with countless positive experiences and I have made so many friends along the way,” said Lanning. “Having significantly increased opportunities now available for young girls to play cricket in safe, fun and friendly female environments will ensure that thousands of girls can now share in that experience all over the country.”
Female participation reached record figures in 2015-16, growing nine per cent to 314,936 (and representing 24 per cent of all participants in the sport). It included 581 girls and women’s teams playing 11-a-side cricket at clubs.
“The response from the Australian cricket community will change the dynamic of female participation in cricket right across the country with more opportunities for girls to play cricket than ever before,” said Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Sutherland.
“The message the community is sending to us is that they are determined to throw their support behind growing cricket for girls and women and continue to work towards making cricket clubs right across the nation more inclusive,” said Sutherland. “The appetite is coming from the grassroots level and we are committed to supporting that demand.”
Those interested in signing up to play in the new teams can visit www.playcricket.com.au/girlscomp. The additional funding announcementcoincides with the National PlayCricket Registration Drive, Australian Cricket’s national participation campaign, that calls on Australians to sign up to play cricket in 2016.
- Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars are ranked number 1 in the World (ICC Women’s rankings)
- Current holders of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup
- 314,936 females participated in cricket in Australia in 2015/16
- 24% of all cricket participants.
- The ten broadcast matches of the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League on TEN and ONE had an average television audience of 231,000
- A women’s national cricket competition has existed in Australia since 1930/31