Former Olympic hockey star Kate Hollywood will be part of a unique cricket trial for elite female athletes.
A dual Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist, Hollywood will try out for a Women’s Big Bash League training contact with other selected athletes from a range of different sports.
Hollywood is part of a Cricket NSW initiative to offer high performing women from other sports the opportunity to pursue a professional career in cricket.
Cricket Australia will look to use this pilot to implement the initiative nationwide through the Women’s Big Bash League.
The Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder will each award one WBBL rookie training contract to an elite female athlete from another sport who excels during the specialWBBL Futurestars trial day at the SCG on Saturday September 3.
The best performed athletes will also be offered places in the Cricket NSW Women’s High Performance Cricket Academy.
Striking, catching, fielding and throwing skills will be tested as part of a specially designed program.
Women aged 16 and over who have represented their state in another sport are encouraged to apply. Entries close Friday 26 August., click here to apply
Hollywood competed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and two Commonwealth Games.
“Cricket is an exciting sport, I think it is very similar to hockey which is a sport I obviously love, especially the hand-eye coordination” said Hollywood.
“Since playing hockey, and being around that team environment, it is something that I’ve loved about the sport. I think cricket is very similar – it’s a nice team feel, you always celebrate together and the team cohesion is important.
“I will always sign up for anything and have a crack at it. That’s the best thing about being an athlete, being able to test yourself and try different things.”
She recently visited the SCG, catching up with Sydney Sixers wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy and Sydney Thunder opening bowler Lauren Cheatle.
Healy was an under 21 hockey representative for NSW who still plays at club level when her cricket commitments allow.
“It’s a bat and a ball, so a bit of hand-eye coordination comes in handy but obviously there’s a lot more physical effort in hockey over a short period, while in cricket it is over a longer period,” said Healy who is encouraging athletes across the state to put their hand up for the Futurestars program.
“Women’s cricket is definitely on the rise and probably going to be one of the first female sports to become fully professional in the country.
“That’s a really exciting opportunity to be a part of.
“Come and give it a try, it is Australia’s favourite sport especially over the summer so get involved and see how you go.”
Cheatle played under 17 netball for NSW before deciding to concentrate on cricket.
“Growing up I tried to play as many sports as I could,” said Cheatle.
“I played tennis, netball – as I still do – a bit of softball and of course cricket, I loved all of them and still play as much as I can.
“I love playing a team sport, it is one of my favourite things to do and away from cricket I need to keep my fitness up so playing a second sport is a great way to do that.”
Cricket NSW CEO Andrew Jones said the inaugural trial of high quality female athletes reinforced cricket’s standing as the leader in women’s sport.
“Cricket currently has the best paid international and national sportswomen of any Australian team sport, and we expect that to continue,” Mr Jones said.
“We want to give as many women as possibility the opportunity to pursue this professional pathway.”
“Cricket has had vibrant national competitions since 1934. The outstanding debut season of the Women’s Big Bash League allows us to continue our leadership in the professionalisation of women’s sport.”