Three players from the Australia Women’s Cricket team today surprised a local cricket club in Engadine, New South Wales, providing the opportunity for the young players to meet their Australian Cricket superstars.

St John Bosco Cricket Club have been pioneers of the girls’ game in the Sutherland region, driving an all-girls cricket competition in the area. 

Players from the Australian Women’s Cricket team included Ashleigh Gardner, Alana King and Annabel Sutherland, who travelled to Engadine to support and cheer on St John Bosco players at their local game.

Staring just four years ago, St John Bosco now fields their own team and the all-girls competition has expanded to two divisions. As a sign of continued success, the club has also quadrupled its girl members, going from just six during the 2019/2020 season, to 24 in the current season. Young girls now account for 38 per cent of the clubs’ junior cricketers, an incredibly high percentage for a local club.

To fuel ongoing success and growth to female participation in cricket, St John Bosco club was recently a recipient of the Growing Cricket for Girls Fund, a partnership between Cricket Australia and Commonwealth Bank. The funding has been used to attract and recruit additional young girls in the area to discover and participate in cricket.

The Growing Cricket for Girls Fund aims to provide opportunities for more women to be involved in cricket. Since 2016, Cricket Australia and CommBank have jointly invested over $9 million to the fund, helping over 900 clubs, associations and schools across Australia on their journeys to grow female participation and involvement.

Children at the cricket event Children at the cricket event

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Phoebe, aged 10, a junior cricketer at St John Bosco Cricket Club, said: “I love being able to play cricket with my friends each week, and playing in an all-girls team is even more special as we can all have fun together.”

“It was amazing being able to meet some of our idols today and be given words of encouragement and advice on how we could potentially be like them one day.”

James Allsopp, Cricket Australia Executive General Manager, Community Cricket & Capability, added:

“CommBank have been long supporters of the women’s game and it’s great to see that support span not only across the elite team, but also funnel into the grassroots clubs and give young girls an opportunity to experience cricket.”

“It’s terrific to see Ash, Alana and Annabel head down to St John Bosco Cricket Club today and give back to the local community. It’s a real privilege for our Aussie stars to share some words of encouragement and cheer them on as these junior girls do so often for our Australian team.”

Jo Boundy, Chief Marketing Officer at CommBank, said: “Connecting young players with inspiring and successful role models in sport is something that we are passionate about at CommBank. We hope to inspire young cricketers both on and off the field.”

 “CommBank has supported women’s cricket for 23 years, so we’re proud to back the Growing Cricket for Girls Fund. This fund supports growth in cricket and the rise of the next generation of Australian women’s cricket champions.”

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