Almost half the attendees at last weekend’s Holman Discover Cricket for Girls Day at #TheFurnace had never played the game before.
More than 80 girls attended the free come-and-try clinic on Saturday 2 September, with about 30 of those participants picking up a bat and ball for the first time.
WACA Female Engagement Specialist Chloe Nella said it was a promising sign for the Perth Scorchers and the Association, which have dedicated specific resources and attention towards ensuring cricket is a sport for all Australians.
“It’s all about getting the girls down and getting them to give it a go,” Nella said.
“Out of the 80 girls, 30 had never played before, so that’s really exciting for us.”
The dreary weather of the week took a hiatus for the duration of the three hour clinic, with the pristine blue skies and characteristic velvet-green carpet of the WACA Ground providing a perfect setting for the day.
And the message for the participants was simple: Don’t worry about whether you’re good, just have fun with your friends.
Perth Scorchers player Piepa Cleary said cricket had entered an exciting era for girls and women, with opportunities that never previously existed.
“I didn’t aspire to be like any female cricketers, because I didn’t know any,” Cleary said.
“It’s on TV for girls to see now and five years ago, that wasn’t there.
“So, now, they can aspire to be like the players they see on TV.”
Local dad Chaitanya Peshave, a sub-continent expat whose daughter participated in the clinic, echoed Cleary’s comments, saying the visibility of women playing cricket had been a driver to his child’s involvement.
“In India, cricket is pretty much treated as a religion,” he said.
“It was the last Cricket World Cup that actually ignited the passion (in my daughter); the way the girls played.”