Going in to bat for young sportswomen

By Liam Nash

Entering a male-dominated sport is a daunting task for young sportswomen.

It becomes even more intimidating when access to gender-suitable equipment isn’t readily available.

But Katamatite Cricket Club is looking to change that.

Thanks to a successful VicHealth Active Club Grant application, the club will have $2980 for buying kit and equipment to encourage girls to try their hand at the sport.

Club president Andrew Erickson said the organisation intended to utilise the funding to attract a larger female playing base to Moore St.

“It will be going towards junior cricket in general, but there will certainly be a focus on girls’ protective equipment,” Erickson said.

“For the girls playing, the gear available was based around the boys, so this will be about giving them options. It will be also going towards kits for all the juniors.”

According to Erickson, committee member Kim Fitzgerald was the mastermind behind securing the grant.

As a mother to two young Katamatite cricketers, she said the funding was a much-needed step towards engaging the next generation of females in the sport.

“We are all really happy the grant has come through for the club, community and the girls involved,” she said.

“Some girls can be intimidated by playing in a mixed environment, whether it be skills or strength, so I saw this as a really good opportunity to get them more involved.

“I think one of the barriers in junior sport is that equipment can be expensive. If we can say ‘here, we have the equipment for training and games’ it is one less barrier to worry about.

“This is to show everyone is welcome at Katty cricket club.”

VicHealth launched the initiative to drive participation numbers of women in sport.

The organisation cited three out of five women were not getting an adequate amount of physical activity to benefit their health, and released the grants as a means to get females more active, more often.

Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy said the sporting community would profit from the financial backing.

“The club has received a $2980 Active Club Grant which will be used for uniforms, equipment and promotion of this new sporting opportunity,” McCurdy said.

“The funding will enable the Katamatite Cricket Club to provide more opportunities for girls to improve their health through playing sport.

“Our local sports clubs are the centre of our community and we are all looking forward to the resumption of activities that have been halted due to the coronavirus.”