Cricket NSW and Cricket Illawarra have joined forces to develop an integrated strategy to grow female cricket participation locally in the Greater Illawarra.

The strategy will see the introduction of female only School Cup Gala Days to increase school participation, a club-based Thunder Girls Cricket League competition and a senior Women’s competition run by Cricket Illawarra to be supported by Thunder Women’s Social Leagues proposed to be run in the Illawarra and the South Coast.

The collective aim for the strategy is to develop an integrated and collective approach to growing female cricket participation from the entry level Cricket Blast through to junior and senior cricket, both socially and club-based.

Cricket NSW Area Manager Southern NSW/ACT, Martin Gleeson, highlighted the collaborative approach to the process of building the strategy.

“Whilst the female talent pathway in the Illawarra has been well established over the past few years a participation-based pathway has not yet been fully implemented” Gleeson said.

“In an effort to address this and to establish a sustainable local pathway to provide playing opportunities for women and girls of all ages and abilities, a planning meeting was held in July involving key stakeholders from the Illawarra Region and the Greater Illawarra Zone.”

“The meeting was an opportunity to understand the current female cricket status, plan for the 2019/20 season and determine responsibilities and accountabilities.”

“The dominance of the Australian Women’s Team in the recent Ashes, the enduring success of the NSW Breakers and the upcoming ICC Women's World T20 provides a fantastic promotional base to inspire more women and girls to actively participate in our great game.”

“Added to that is the announcement of the Sydney Thunder WBBL clash against Adelaide Strikers at North Dalton Park on 20 November, and the Thunder signing of local product Tahlia Wilson, there are lots of good news stories for female cricket in the Illawarra.”

Tickets on sale for the Wollongong match this Thursday.

To register with your local club and play in the Thunder Girls Cricket League click PlayCricket.

To download the full Illawarra Female Cricket Strategy click here.