Girls cricket is booming in the Hills District and Hornsby, thanks to the amazing groundwork laid by Glenorie District Cricket Club’s Amanda Fraser.
Recently-crowned Cricket Australia’s and Cricket NSW’s Volunteer of the Year, Fraser has made a tremendous impact on grassroots cricket in a relatively short time.
Fraser has made Glenorie District CC, one of the outer Sydney suburbs’ most successful clubs with a 50% female committee, uniting the local community with her leadership.
As the girls’ cricket coordinator for the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai & Hills District Cricket Association (HK&HDCA), Fraser has inspired the district to focus on girls’ cricket, boosting the number of female cricketers by more than 30 percent.
This year, HK&HDCA has started its first girls’ Stage 1 competition in the association’s history. The Stage 1 HK&HDCA girls competition features seven of the 13 clubs putting together girls-only teams, while two clubs had a joint side. Four clubs in the association have Stage 2 and 3 teams as well.
If you visit Montview Oval at Hornsby Heights on Friday afternoons, there is a carnivallike atmosphere with music, dancing, and lots of cricket, played by girls who just can’t have enough fun, according to Cricket NSW.
Jacob O’Sullivan, Cricket Manager, Sydney North West, acknowledged that Cricket NSW and HK&HDCA have been able to start the girls’ Stage 1 competition after two seasons, due to Amanda’s efforts.
“She is a powerhouse and has been able to build those club connections in the district for clubs to buy into the idea. We were also bolstered by the Hornsby Council’s support of growing female cricket participation in the area,” O’Sullivan said.
“It is a clear strategy for Cricket NSW to have more girls, especially in the 5-12-year-old age group, play and love cricket. The mission has been transformed into reality with the Stage 1 girls’ competition, made possible by our strong female volunteers in the district. We are grateful for their efforts and are excited to provide more opportunities for girls to play cricket in the Hornsby and Hills area.”
Stage 1 girl players (8-12 years) who previously played Cricket Blast or haven’t played the game, play against other teams at Montview Oval. They use pink balls, and their playing kits are colourful.
There is a lot of fun with girls dancing with their bats, inventing cricketing moves and perfecting their legwork all in one. A few pink hoodie-wearing fielders move around, ready for a catch, or to stop runs.
At the scorers’ corner is the remarkable cricket force, Amanda Fraser, watching on with pride. According to Cricket NSW, “last season, the number of females playing cricket in the association increased from 508 to 660 in one season.
There were four girls’ only Stage 1 teams, formed after Fraser met multiple times with club volunteers to make sure all their questions were answered to keep a focus on growing female participation.
“This year, the HKHDCA girls are playing cricket on their own turf, with teams from their own communities.”
To encourage players, Hornsby District CC has made registrations free for girls, while West Pennant Hills-Cherrybrook CC have found equipment and kit sponsors for their teams.
Some girls play in mixed teams on Saturdays, so HK&HDCA decided to hold the girls’ only matches on Friday evenings under lights, with music and dance thrown in. Liesl, Fraser’s daughter, loves her all-girls cricket, plus the fact that she can wear green pants to play.
Sign up to play girls-only cricket on https://play.cricket.com.au/