Equal opportunities for junior cricketers, boys and girls
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I’d like to preface this statement by noting that our club dynamic has changed dramatically and absolutely for the better since we introduced a female program to our club. The new Perth Women’s Scorchers League is a great initiative and the league coordinators and the team at the WACA have done a great job getting it off the ground and should be commended for their work – we sincerely hope to see more WA clubs nominate a women’s team next season.
The club is petitioning for the WACA to allow our junior girls to have the same opportunities that our junior boys do. It’s not right that we can’t integrate and play our junior girls in senior women’s like we can with the boys.
As a local park cricket club it’s our role in the cricket landscape to have a great two way working relationship with our local premier club as well as a strong system of integration between our juniors and seniors for those juniors who are highly skilled or developing faster than their peers.
It’s great for their confidence, self-esteem and cricket skills to receive exposure with a quality group of older role models and it it’s hugely important for the longevity and sustainability of both the junior and senior clubs. When it comes to the boys, it’s this relationship with our senior men that we pride ourselves on.
The relationship between junior and senior cricket is an important part of the fabric of cricket in Australia. You talk to any older club stalwart, state or national cricketer and you soon have them recalling their experiences as a youngster in a senior men’s team. Whether it was filling in at fine leg, carrying the drinks or as the young up and coming local prodigy. Only in January, we had guest Brad Hogg at the club keeping the crowd entertained with stories of himself as a youngster playing for his dad’s senior team. Some of his fondest cricket memories I’m sure.
Currently WACA rules prevent clubs with a team in the Perth Girls Scorchers League playing players in the Perth Women’s Scorchers League. There can be no possible basis for this ruling on safety, consistency or common sense. In fact I’d contest that a junior boy playing senior men’s is a larger step in playing conditions than the PGSL to PWSL both of which are entry level competitions and playing Stage 2 modified rules.
Taken at a micro level, we have currently have a situation where we have two siblings, one boy and one girl, both at the same age, playing the same level of cricket. In this example, the boy can participate in senior men’s cricket, sadly his sister has to request an exemption to the rule in order to play. This has been requested by the club and been knocked back by the WACA. No right to appeal the decision has been granted.
At a time where the WACA and Cricket Australia are celebrating their efforts in promoting gender equality and opportunities for girls to play cricket this does not pass the sniff test. It’s a shame, because both organisations are doing a huge amount of good in promoting the women’s game in Australia and WA.
It makes no sense that our junior girls shouldn’t be given the same opportunities. If it’s good enough for the boys, it should be good enough for the girls.
Introducing women’s cricket to Roleystone is one of the best things the club has ever done, I’ve no doubt we’ll never look back and the WACA’s efforts in this should not be underestimated. Our sole concern relates to the integration of our junior and senior females only as we must be sure that if we attract girls to the game of cricket they get a fair go, just like the boys.
#watchme #balanceforbetter #equality #internationalwomensday
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