In our 6-part series focusing on women in the Cricket NSW community for International Women’s Day on March 8 we look at the ability of cricket to create friendships in an environment where anyone is welcome. #BreakTheBias
Abbie is destined for big things.
If things go to plan for Abbie, those big things will be on the cricket field like some of her heroes Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy but given the success of her fledgling women’s sport magazine, appropriately titled, Her Way, grand achievements will come off the park too.
Her Way was launched last year in Abbie’s Sydney loungeroom with the help of her supportive parents. What started as a passion project soon morphed into something much bigger with Abbie’s interest and energy for women’s sport, or for that matter anything, shining brightly.
The magazine was good. Actually, it was very good, and people started to notice. The media started calling about the newest member of their cohort and Abbie was featured on TV, on the radio and online.
Athletes noticed too and Abbie got to interview or collaborate with the who’s who of Australian sport. Cricketers, check. AFLW stars, check. Tennis greats, yep. Olympic gold medallists, don’t mind if we do.
Did we mention that Abbie is just 11?
And at the heart of all of this. Abbie is still a kid. A kid who loves cricket and what it has brought to her life.
She loves playing it. She loves watching it. She loves writing about it and she loves talking about it.
She loves going to the cricket, WBBL especially, with her younger sister and her Dad, Chris. They share a special bond around our game.
On Saturdays, Abbie plays in an all-girls team and already, in their first summer together, they have formed what could well be lifelong friendships.
“I went into cricket and I knew one girl, only because she was on my AFL team as well,” Abbie explains.
“But already I’m really good friends with most of the girls and I know with lots of other teams, it’s really easy to make friends.
“The girls that are on my team are really nice and inclusive and I made friends with them really quickly even though it’s the first year for most of us.
“I could see myself playing for a long time and I think lots of the girls want to keep doing it. These are girls I’d want to keep playing with.
“Another thing about wanting to keep playing is I can make new friends and that’s one of the things I love about sport.”
While Abbie loves the opportunities cricket offers for young Australian girls, she hopes young females around the world can be afforded the same chance to thrive in the game she loves.
“Cricket is a pretty inclusive sport. There’s lots of girls playing it although I would still love lots more girls in other countries to be able to play and have lots of opportunities like we do.”
Abbie speaks so maturely and yet so genuinely about the values that cricket has brought her – the friendship, the inclusiveness and the joy, that has not always been there for young girls.
At just 11, she is experiencing some of the wonderful signs that cricket is helping ‘BreakTheBias’.
There is no doubt Abbie is breaking down her own barriers too.