The Perth Scorchers will today launch PlayCricket Week with a free, fun-filled event for fans and families, ahead of a school-visit blitz by players and staff across the metro area.
The Scorchers will descend on Ellenbrook Secondary College Oval today from 1-4pm, with Club mascots Blaze and Amber joined by a trio of players, the Scorchers Bus, inflatable nets, a sausage sizzle and a range of activities to celebrate the launch of PlayCricket.
PlayCricket is the sport’s annual registration awareness campaign and the Ellenbrook event launches a week of up to 100 clinics and school visits by Scorchers staff and players across the metro area, helping to engage the community in what will be an exciting and historical summer of cricket for WA.
Scorchers fast bowlers Joel Paris and Jason Behrendorff will be joined by all-rounder Heather Graham at today’s event, mingling with fans, before taking part in the MILO T20 Blast pop-up skills session for boys and girls aged 7-12 years.
Cricket fanatic and local member Hon Christian Porter MP will also be on-hand to help launch the week’s celebrations.
The launch of PlayCricket comes after yesterday’s release of the 2016-17 National Cricket Census Data, which highlighted the popularity of cricket among Australians.
Participation numbers across the country have soared to 1,429,529, with WA’s contribution increasing by more than 11 per cent year-on-year to 186,386.
The results showed cricket was engaging with WA’s diverse community better than ever, with the segments of women and girls (+23%), Aboriginal people (+11%), those from multicultural backgrounds (+16%) and people with a disability (+26%) all reporting dramatic increases in participation numbers.
A downward trend in both junior programs (MILO in2CRICKET -15% and MILO T20 Blast -18%) was felt across the board, with this week’s PlayCricket campaign restructured to take the game to as many young people as possible, lifting school visits during the awareness drive from about 50 in 2016, to an intended 200 over the next five school days.
WACA General Manager – Game and Market Development Jo Davies said: “PlayCricket is an incredibly important initiative for the sport across the country, and one of the most exciting for our player and staff.
“This is the period of the year when we get to focus all our attention on getting out into the community, getting kids excited about the season ahead and meeting the passionate supporters who make the game possible.
“Fundamentally, we all begin playing a sport because we love and enjoy it and that’s what PlayCricket is all about; taking the game out to the community, encouraging last year’s players to sign up again and inspiring those who might have never picked up a bat or ball, to get involved in the game we enjoy so much.”
PlayCricket's regional campaign will kick off with an event in Leschenault on Saturday 19 August, and will run through most of September.
For more information regarding junior cricket programs and PlayCricket, head to playcricket.com.au.