Driving positive cultural change at the local level can be a challenging process and for the Druids Cricket Club in West Footscray, the journey to level the playing field has involved a high level of community engagement, support and collaboration.
On Monday 10th December, the Druids played host to over 100 spectators, participants and community members for the inaugural Druids v Druids U13 Girls Cricket Game at Shorten Reserve in West Footscray, playing for premiership points in the WRJCA Molly Strano Cup.
The sidelines were dotted with a range of community and elite cricket representatives with Aussie Cricketer and Melbourne Renegades bowler, Molly Strano herself in attendance. Molly took the opportunity to have a chat with the girls following the match and provide some words of encouragement for the aspiring cricketers.
A true community event with representatives from Maribyrnong Council, Seddon Community Bank, Cricket Victoria, Western Spirit and the WRJCA showing their support. Former Footscray Cricket Club, Victorian and Australian representative and 11 year (former) CEO of Cricket Victoria Tony Dodemaide was also in attendance and commended the Druids for supporting the growth of girls’ cricket in the west.
Using a new portable roll out Flicx cricket pitch (to help combat local ground shortage issues) which was purchased with support from Maribyrnong Council, the girls brought their infectious enthusiasm to put on a great game of cricket under perfect evening conditions.
“Events like this are a credit to the people involved and representative of the inclusive nature of our local community.” Druids Cricket Club Secretary Gary Tilton said,
“The support we receive from the cricket community, council and local organisations is exceptional and has been the catalyst for introducing 11 new junior teams to the club in 5 short years. The drive and dedication of our girls’ team coaches Alison Whan and Libby Howe has been nothing short of amazing and they have helped to create a wonderful club culture for all of our senior and junior players and parents.”
Image via @Katie_for_footscray
Also in attendance, the recently elected Member for Footscray Katie Hall (pictured above) who was excited by the community innitiative and support,
“I’m so delighted to see girls’ sport thriving in the inner-west. The West Footscray community really celebrated the first match between the under 13 girls’ teams and it was great to be there to cheer them on.”