BREAKTHROUGH “THUNDER CUP” GIRLS CRICKET COMPETITION COMES TO ILLAWARRA, SOUTH COAST, SHOALHAVEN, SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, SOUTH EAST AND ACT
Opportunities for girls to excel in cricket have been taken to a new level across the Illawarra, South Coast, Shoalhaven, Southern Highlands, South East and ACT with the introduction of the all-girls “Thunder Cup” competition.
Involving girls aged from 11 to 14, the breakthrough competition started with matches played in Bowral last weekend, with more matches to be played at towns and centres across the representative regions through to early February.
Some fifty participating girls have been assigned to four representative teams named Illawarra Flames, Shoalhaven Invitational XI, South Coast Crew and ACT Aces.
It’s intended that the teams will each play in as many as twelve T20 matches over the competition period.
Although the matches are competitive, they are primarily an opportunity to develop skills and familiarise girls with more advanced aspects of cricket, with specialist coaches on hand to guide and mentor each girl.
The initiative is the brainchild of Cricket NSW’s Coach and Talent Specialist Steve Davies, with support from the Greater Illawarra Cricket Zone, Cricket ACT and experienced local coaches and team managers.
Steve has coached women’s cricket at senior levels for many years, including a role at Sydney Thunder in the Women’s Big Bash League.
“With interest in women’s cricket growing across Australia and globally, it’s important to give girls similar development opportunities as boys at the community level,” Steve said.
“It’s a milestone to have exclusive representative cricket for girls in this younger age-bracket up and running across these local regions.
“Girls of this age wanting to play cricket have usually slotted into boys’ teams, so it’s an exciting turning point when we can showcase exclusive girl’s teams.
“We’re hopeful that this will be a springboard to get even more girls involved in local cricket. Girls are far more likely to register to play if they can see so many other girls out there learning and having fun.”
The teams are being coached by Ty Barton, Craig Bramble, David Horsfall and Brett Mark.
“The feedback from everyone at the inaugural matches in The Southern Highlands has been tremendous,” Ty Barton said.
“This is an historic step forward for girls’ cricket across the local regions.”