Cricket providing physical, mental and social wellbeing to people with intellectual disability

December 13, 2019
Cricket providing physical, mental and social wellbeing to people with intellectual disability

Cricket Victoria is committed to ensuring cricket remains a sport for all Victorians.

Cricket Victoria is pleased to release an evaluation undertaken on the “Health and Social Impact of Participation in Cricket for People with Intellectual Disabilities”, following the implementation of the Melbourne All Abilities Cricket Association (MAACA) as Cricket Victoria’s 77th association in 2015.

Cricket Victoria and MACCA provide opportunities for people with an intellectual disability to play in a regular, structured and organised cricket competition, moving from sampling to sustainability.

MAACA commenced its fourth season of cricket in 2018 and has grown from five clubs in the first year to 13 clubs in the 18/19 season. The Association facilitates two divisions that provide opportunities for participation based on levels of functionality. Higher ability players participate in Division 1 that generally replicates the format of mainstream cricket, whilst players with more complex needs can participate in Division 2, a competitive format that offers greater levels of flexibility in relation to equipment, number of players and rules.

In March 2019, Cricket Victoria commissioned researchers from Monash University’s Faculty of Education to undertake an evaluation of the work of MAACA.

The evaluation responded to three key research questions:

  1. What are the experiences of people with disabilities and their families of participating in MAACA?
  2. How have clubs facilitated these experiences? and
  3. How do they anticipated the Association will develop in the future?

Amongst some of the key findings, the evaluation found that the majority of players considered that participating in All Abilities cricket had provided them with numerous benefits that included physical, mental and social wellbeing, increased self-confidence and self-esteem. Surveys also found that cricket facilitated the development of meaningful social connections for players. Interviewees also suggested that cricket afforded players a space where they could be independent and engage in social interactions.

“This research provides critical feedback from clubs and communities around the impact MAACA has on people with intellectual disabilities and how we can better support our community and clubs in our commitment to ensuring cricket is a sport for all,” said CV’s Head of Participation, Community Development & Diversity Emma Staples.

To read the full evaluation click here.

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