Great Lakes Junior Cricket Club has launched a girls only and mixed program, designed to promote fun and acceptance of women in the game.
The Twilight Junior Program began on January 9 and will be held on consecutive Monday evenings at 5.30pm on January 16, 23 and 30 at Tuncurry Oval on South Street.
The first meeting saw 40 players register, with 32 being introduced to cricket for the first time.
Over a dozen of the field were girls.
The club has conducted a review of participation where it was discovered some girls did not want to play with the boys for numerous reasons.
This is why the program is offering girls only games as well as mixed.
Co-President of the club Trevor McBride said the program will hopefully boost the number of junior players in the Great Lakes region.
"The rate of female participation in particular is very poor and we are trying to address that issue with our new Twilight Junior program. Emma Wicks is the only girl playing in our Saturday morning competition.”
“We have two other girls, Helen and Miley in our Wednesday Milo In2Cricket program,” Trevor said.
Trevor explained that the new format is developed to build skills rather then follow traditional rules.
“The traditional structure has been considerably revised and modernised.”
“This new format eliminates the idea of teams so the participants just play the game and learn the skills as they go.”
“Waiting to bat has been eliminated as fielders rotate to batter, wicket keeper and bowler without delay.”
“Batters do not have a partner and they bat by themselves,” Trevor said.
Not designed to be a competition, club secretary Graham Robinson said the club is driven to promote fun in the game.
"We solely want kids to come and have fun."
"If they turn up, have fun for an hour and go home with some more confidence, a smile on their faces and hopefully a bond with the game then we have succeeded," Graham said.
Graham is happy the message is getting out to the Great Lakes.
“As a sport that is mainly played by boys, it is difficult to communicate to parents of girls and we have branched out to local dance schools and netball clubs to help create awareness as well as any avenue possible on Facebook.”
“Those that have helped us with this we wish to thank and hopefully can work together as a sporting community for all kids in the region,” Graham said.
The club says it is hopeful a girls division can be launched in the future.
The promotion of women’s cricket is at an all time high, with the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) receiving commercial success and the development of new ways to bridge the gap between male and female pay discrepancies.
Cricket New South Wales has been releasing promotional videos of some of the country’s most elite female cricketers; saying it is hard for girls to develop skills and feel accepted in what is classed as a ‘boy sport.’
Social media has also been abuzz with users encouraged to use the hashtag #allgirlscan to recognise the importance of women in cricket.