A surge in female participation has underpinned a bounce in overall Victorian cricket participation according to new data released today as part of the national cricket census from Cricket Australia.
A total of 376,300 Victorians were involved in cricket last season, an increase of 14.71% on the previous year’s figures.
Key to this success was a 55.7% increase in overall female participation to more than 87,000 women and girls involved in a range of cricket formats during last season. There was also a 41.1% lift in school participation, primarily through MILO in2CRICKET skills programs.
Cricket Victoria CEO Tony Dodemaide said the results confirmed cricket remains one of Victoria’s most popular participation sports.
“There is no doubting cricket’s ongoing popularity across the Victorian community. The new female participation figures are particularly pleasing given the volume of work we have put into this key area on the back of the major success of the Rebel WBBL. We are committed to delivering and profiling a clear pathway for girls and women of all ages to be involved in and enjoy cricket,” Dodemaide said.
Victoria recently recorded the highest number of club and association funding applications nationally for Cricket Australia’s Growing Cricket for Girls Fund. There are now 22 cricket associations across the state that offer either a Melbourne Stars or Melbourne Renegades junior girls cricket competition. Cricket Victoria expects nearly 300 teams to be registered in these competitions for the upcoming season.
“The Growing Cricket for Girls Fund has had a positive impact on the Victorian cricket landscape and we’re encouraged by the number of clubs and associations who are willing to reassess their offerings to ensure it is a great cricket experience for new participants,” Dodemaide added.
While growth in female and schools participation has been strong, the data also shows there is more work to be done in both the club and entry-level participation categories.
Entry-level participation fell 11% but was offset by an increase in the number of juniors involved in the new junior formats national pilot program. Club participation fell 1.1% on last year’s figures with a drop in senior club participation a factor.
“Entry-level participation is critical for us as this in-turn feeds the next generation of club participants. Our approach here is two-fold: we’ve committed more resources to boost our presence across metro and regional Victoria to drive more opportunities for kids to engage with cricket. We’re also working closely with cricket clubs and associations at all levels to continue to nurture an environment where families and kids feel welcome and involved,” Dodemaide said.
Nationally, Victoria holds 26% of total cricket participation, one per cent behind the combined NSW / ACT.
Cricket Victoria is working with clubs and associations and state and local governments, to plan, invest in, build and maintain facilities that foster a welcoming and inclusive environment while helping cricketers across the state reach their full potential.
From the development of the $40 million Victorian Cricket and Community Centre at Junction Oval, to the delivery of the $12.4 million Community Cricket Program: On Common Ground, cricket is working with its government partners to deliver new infrastructure and facility upgrades that will further drive participation growth in the sport.