Cricket NSW’s Girls Only cricket week came together beautifully in a Western Sydney school on a sunny winter afternoon last month as rising cricket stars Anika Learoyd and Claire Moore offered inspiration and hope to 30 schoolgirls who have started playing the sport for the first time in their lives.

 

The schoolgirls, a few as young as five years old, were participants in the Cricket NSW’s Girls’ Blast program at the Northbourne Public School in Marsden Park. They ranged between Kindy and Year 4 students at the school.

 

REGISTRATIONS TO PLAY CRICKET THIS SUMMER OPEN THIS WEEK HERE

Cricket NSW partnered with 30 schools across the state in terms 2 and 3 to run free before and after school Girls’ Blast cricket programs, using Cricket Australia’s Next Innings funding that is geared towards helping schoolgirls hone their skills and be ready for when the Club Cricket season starts, and therefore play cricket all year round.

 

The Girls’ Blast program received a phenomenal response – over 900 girls participated in the program, 400 from Western Sydney alone. Among them, a brand-new school, Northbourne Public School, had 60 girls playing and experiencing cricket for the first time.

 

The school offered a fun and friendly environment that not only encouraged more girls to sign up for the afterschool cricket program, but also a chance at improving their health and well-being by being active and spend time away from screens.

To wrap up the program and celebrate Girls Only cricket week, the little girls spent an afternoon with their cricketing heroes. Two of NSW’s most talented cricketers, Sydney Thunder all-rounder Anika Learoyd and Sydney Sixers’ batter Claire Moore, spent an afternoon with them.

 

Learoyd and Moore attended the celebration event at the Northbourne Public School in Marsden Park and participated in battling, bowling and fielding activities with the little cricketers in their Cricket Blast jerseys. They also answered questions and judged a ‘Build a Bat’ competition to select four winners from the designs.

“The aim of this Girls’ Blast program was to help with the transition of girl cricketers from schools to clubs,” says Stephanie Munro, School Experience Manager, Cricket NSW.

 

“We aim to provide an opportunity for girls to be active and learn the skills of cricket in a safe, inclusive environment with their friends,” she adds.

 

Matthew Barwick, Participation Manager – Sydney North, Cricket NSW, one of the main organisers of the after-school cricket program in the state, says, “Thanks to the funding from Cricket Australia, it allowed so many girls in schools to play and experience cricket for the first time in their lives.”