Cricket Victoria walks the talk

With the Australian Women’s Cricket team number one in the world in all formats of the game, interest in women’s cricket is booming.

Cricket Victoria are leading the charge locally to ensure women and girls are supported to play the sport they love and have pathways to pursue leadership roles.

Girls leadership program

Cricket Victoria, Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars, with the support of School Sports Victoria (SSV), have launched the Year 7 and 8 Girls Leadership Program for 2017.

Following on from the success of the 2016 course, the program includes an interactive online learning program which explores:

  • Your Leadership Spirit
  • Ignite Your Can Do
  • Stand Strong
  • Stepping Up for Yourself and Others
  • Your Resilience Superpower and
  • Reach for the Stars.

For more information or to enrol, visit: cricketvictoria.com.au/get-involved/year-7-and-8-female-leadership-forum

Change our Game development program

Cricket Victoria has recently launched the “Change our Game” development program.

The development program targets female staff working in Cricket Victoria and players in the Victorian Women’s Cricket team. The  program aims to empower females to take up leadership throughout the organisation. The program consists of three two-day workshops over the year with progressive themes across each of the workshops: leading self, leading teams and leading in Victorian Cricket.

In addition program participants receive 360 degree feedback on their current leadership profile and coaching, enabling them to clearly identify their strengths and areas for improvement. The program also encourages peer coaching.

The program has been designed to achieve a number of outcomes including:

  • development of self-awareness and provide an opportunity for self-reflection
  • creating a community of women within Cricket Victoria to support female leadership
  • increased capacity of the talent pipeline to assist with progression of women into senior positions
  • developing Cricket Victoria’s current systems to better support female participation and leadership
  • empowering women to take up leadership roles throughout the organisation
  • improving Cricket Victoria’s understanding about inclusion to inform future program delivery.

 

Growing girls cricket fund

The Growing Cricket for Girls Fund was launched in July 2016 with a $4 million investment over four years. Half of this was allocated to launch new, and develop existing, girls-only cricket leagues nationally.

Following the second round of the Growing Cricket for Girls Fund (GCGF), 129 clubs across Victoria have been successful in their applications and will share in $258,000 to help grow female cricket programs.

Victoria also recorded the highest number of applicants in Australia, further highlighting the state as a leader in cricket development nationwide.

Four new cricket associations have earned a share of $20,000 this year as well as another $20,000 next season and16 existing associations have received funding for a total of $80,000.

Clubs and schools were able to apply for up to $2,000 to help develop and grow the number of girls teams playing in state or territory recognised competitions. Funding could be used in several ways, including the purchasing of new equipment, hiring coaches or supporting female coordinators on club committees.

Cricket Victoria Game and Market Development Manager Rohan O'Neill said:

“The high volume of applications and interest we've received to date is a really strong indicator of Victoria's appetite to grow cricket for girls and women. There are now 22 cricket associations across the state that offer either a Melbourne Stars or Melbourne Renegades junior girls cricket competition. Cricket Victoria expects nearly 300 teams to be registered in these competitions for the upcoming season,” O'Neill said.

Cricket Victoria's Head of Female Cricket Sonya Thompson said clubs across metro and regional areas were keen to be involved.

“It's an exciting time for women's cricket at all levels, and we look forward to working with these clubs and associations to further develop and support cricket into the future. Our key motivator is regardless of whether you're a girl living in country or city areas, the opportunities to get involved in cricket are now becoming clearer and will help establish longevity in the game,” Thompson said.

To date, the fund has assisted over 50 associations and more than 350 clubs and schools nationally to develop new girls competitions, support existing competitions and develop new girls teams, with competitions run using the revised junior formats.

Twenty-two associations in total now offer junior girls competition. Those interested in signing up to play in the new teams can visit: playcricket.com.au/girlscomp

Female Indigenous Participation

The Cricket Victoria Indigenous Girls Leadership program was developed to encourage young women to discover their strengths, identify their leadership spirit; and to develop their resilience.

The program is designed to assist with positive decision making and leading by example. The program also includes cultural heritage learnings to help build self-esteem and a positive sense of culture and belonging. 

Cricket Victoria were also represented by a squad of 14 female Aboriginal cricketers at the National Indigenous Cricket Championships in February 2017.

Cricket Victoria Head of Female Strategy

In November 2016, Cricket Victoria appointed Sonya Thompson as the Head of Female Cricket. In the new senior management role, Sonya will oversee the development, growth and sustainability of female cricket in Victoria.

Sonya has been the High Performance Manager at Cricket Australia and was most recently the WBBL Manager. She has held roles at Sport England as Governing Bodies Manager (the lead role dealing with sports including cricket, hockey, volleyball and baseball) and the Australian Sports Commission.

Sonya was also a member of the Great Britain National Softball Team from 2001-2004.