Sport

Goulburn Murray Cricket calls out for more female players

By Brayden May

With cricket season just around the corner, Goulburn Murray Cricket is calling on more girls to join its junior competition and help boost team numbers this summer.

In its third year, the junior girls competition (10-14 years) has ebbed and flowed in numbers, with many of its older participants moving up to the senior women’s level, which will boast two divisions in its second installment starting next month.

GMC board member Christy O’Brien is keen to attract younger girls to the competition as those turning 15 move up to the senior ranks.

“We have enjoyed good numbers in the first two years of the girls comp, with many of our girls going on to represent the region with the GMC and also Northern Rivers,” O'Brien said.

“But we need to ensure we attract younger girls to ensure sustainability of all competitions moving forward.

“Our numbers in the senior women’s have grown to two divisions in its second year, which is awesome; however, we need to ensure we have the numbers for future years.

“Both girls and women’s cricket has exploded across the region and the state; however, we need to ensure the competition is here for many years to come and not just a flash in the pan.”

The GMC junior girls competition is run on a Friday evening with four teams showing interest for this season, including Echuca (two teams), Bamawm-Lockington United and Kyabram Fire Brigade.

Some of the more experienced girls also play in the under-12 and under-14 boys competitions and will also step up to play in the women’s competition if they are strong enough.

The GMC is encouraging all associated clubs to identify and encourage girls and women in their towns to become more involved in the game.

“Clubs need to identify individuals (male or female) who are passionate about girls and women’s cricket and drive it at club level,” O’Brien said.

“There is strong support at our association level and also from Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia for girls and women’s cricket.

“However, our clubs need to drive the interest at a local level.”

The GMC region includes teams from Bamawm-Lockington United, Colbinabbin, Cooma, Echuca and Echuca South, Girgarre, Kyabram, Leitchville-Gunbower, Kyabram, Maiden Gully, Moama, Nathalia, Rochester, Rushworth, Shepparton Youth Club United, Stanhope, Tongala and West Bendigo.

Anyone keen to become involved in junior girls cricket is encouraged to phone GMC junior girls co-ordinator Justin Hooper on 0413 647 949.