Cricket’s popularity and participation figures have never been better according to the 2016/17 Cricket Australia National Cricket Census Report.
And while the new record of total participants – sitting at more than 1.4 million Australians – is remarkable, what stands out are the gains the sport has made in striving for inclusiveness and diversity.
According to the report, female participation has reached more than 393,000 (up 25 per cent on 2015/16), while indigenous and multicultural player numbers and participants with a disability have also seen significant increases.
Headline statistics from Cricket Australia’s 2016/17 National Cricket Census Report:
- Total participants – 1.4 million (an increase of 9.3 per cent on 2015/16)
- Total female participants – 393,735 (an increase of 25 per cent)
- Participants with a disability – 23,173 (an increase of 32.5 per cent)
- Indigenous participants – 54,345 (an increase of 47.3 per cent)
- Multicultural participants – 222,120 (an increase of 18.3 per cent)
Now, with a partnership between Cricket Australia and Lord’s Taverners Australia, more young people in these growing demographics will have the opportunity to participate and realise their full potential. The three-year partnership, signed in August this year has seen Lord’s Taverners Australia assume the mantle of Cricket Australia’s leading community partner and a key driver of the governing body’s ‘A Sport For All’ Program.
Lord’s Taverners Australia President, Paul Sheahan said the partnership, officially known as the Sporting Chance Fund, is a natural fit for the two organisations which share a strong belief that cricket has a uniting power.
“Our core values of trust, honesty, inclusiveness and diversity put focus on ensuring cricket is accessible and truly a sport for all Australians. Through the Sporting Chance Fund we have an unprecedented opportunity to expand the ‘A Sport For All’ Program, giving more kids and young people, irrespective of their gender, backgrounds and abilities, the chance to take to the field,” Mr Sheahan said.
Mr Sheahan said that Lord’s Taverners Australia and Cricket Australia hope to inject $2 million by 2020 into the ‘A Sport For All’ Program with an emphasis on supporting and expanding grassroots cricket through modified games and training programs across schools and clubs.