Today – 8th March – is celebrated around the world as International Women’s Day and is an opportunity to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also marks a call-to-action to focus on accelerating gender parity or, as the 2018 global theme captures so well, to ‘Press For Progress’.
For all of us in Australian Cricket, the Press For Progress theme naturally resonates as we strive to be the Leading Sport for Women and Girls.
We know that we have been making significant in-roads, and it is important for us to recognise and celebrate this. We’ve been seeing strong growth in female participation, and the WBBL is inspiring girls with a visible pathway like never before. Opportunities like the double-header in Alice Springs are also providing opportunities for Territorians to be entertained by the Big Bash. Today also marks the two year countdown to the women’s final of the ICC World T20 in 2020 here in Australia.
We've seen several pathways start to develop and grow, to help girls and women get into the game in the Northern Territory. In recent times we've seen:
- the inaugural NT Women's Strike League take place in the Top End between the Desert Blaze and Northern Tide;
- Indigenous women representing the NT in the National Indigenous Cricket Championships;
- an NT representative from the NICC selected for the honorary Black Caps Champion Team;
- women and girls representing the NT at the Australian Country Championships;
- women playing in Remote Country Carnivals;
- girls and women growing the game in Alice Springs A-grade Club Competition;
- the introduction of the KFC Summer League in Alice Springs;
- pathway programs and academy training in Alice Springs and Darwin for emerging players;
- women from Tennant Creek, Alice Springs and regional NT playing in the Imparja Cup;
- girls summer league initiative to bring younger girls into the game in Alice Springs;
- girls sunset league skills and competition in Palmerston to attract Top End girls into the game;
- women's training and skills session for a new Top End Club Competition for women;
- women undertaking accreditation for Community L1 and Representative L2 Coaching;
But we also know that there’s still ground to cover. We see that every day as we go about our roles: the ongoing work to build a sustainable female participation base, ensuring all cricket clubs offer welcoming and inclusive environments for all, encouraging greater diversity in the Australian Cricket workforce, and continuing to build cricket’s fan base through both men’s and women’s elite cricket.
We also know that not everyone is aware of cricket’s journey to be the Leading Sport for Women and Girls, and we need to continue to tell our story to inspire a love of the game.
So, Northern Territory Cricket is today partnering with all of Australian Cricket to mark this year’s International Women’s Day by releasing the first Australian Cricket Press For Progress Report. This report summarises the Leading Sport For Women and Girls theme of the Australian Cricket Strategy in more detail, and will drive greater transparency and accountability for the progress of women and girls in cricket.