ECHUCA Cricket Club will pocket $3000 towards its junior all-female cricket team (pictured above) thanks to the Victorian Government’s VicHealth Active Club Grants.
The funding across the state is aimed at getting more girls involved with sport, also providing more social, flexible and accessible sport programs.
It’s a boost for the team, which has competed in Goulburn Murray Cricket’s inaugural season of junior girls competition, for ages 11 to 14.
Echuca Cricket Club Jeff Shannon said the money would be used to make sure the girls have the right gear.
‘‘We’ll be using it to help get the team set up, and make sure playing cricket is affordable for the girls in that first year,’’ he said.
‘‘We have other funding too in the form of donations, so the money will be used in conjuction to provide equipment and unifoms.’’
The team’s coach Christy O’Brien said the team was loving the first season of all-girls competition.
‘‘It’s been fantastic and the game has been played in great spirit and at a great standard,’’ she said.
‘‘Some of the bowlers, I’ve coached under 12 boys, and they’re just as good. It’s just going to continue to grow, this first season is just the beginning.
‘‘Everyone has had a chance to bat and bowl and they’re so keen and focused.’’
O’Brien was full of praise for the support the Echuca Cricket Club had given the girls’ team in its first season.
Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said the various grants would make a big difference for local clubs getting girls’ teams off the ground.
‘‘We want to support locals to get active and embrace a healthy lifestyle, no matter what age, gender or ability,’’ he said.
‘‘Due to a lack of time, lack of confidence, and societal pressure, many Northern Victorian residents just aren’t fitting the recommended amount of physical activity into their week. In particular, we know women are much less likely to take part in club sport compared to men.
‘‘Women deserve the same opportunities as men to play sport and be active. Women’s sport is increasingly popular and these grants will help local clubs field new women’s and girls’ teams.