from left- Cassandra Patten, Erin Chisholm, Marilda Roberts and Mel Beames. Photo: Andrew Perryman.

A FOCUS on women’s cricket is hitting sixes at Maiden Gully Marist Cricket Club, with programs aimed to encourage involvement in the sport, as well as provide a fun and social opportunity for those keen pick up a bat.

The club offers a full pathway for women’s cricket, from juniors through to involvement in a senior women’s competition across the Goulburn Murray.

Secretary Shane Rabbitt said building the program was part of the club’s long-term planning, and has been one of their biggest highlights.

“Three years ago we said we needed to make sure we provided cricket for the entire community, not half of the community,” he said.

He said women feel empowered by having the avenue to be involved – also having the chance to train with the men, and being invited to play in their senior competitions.

“They all love the fact that the club has got behind them,” Rabbitt said.

“We have a group of guys who have entered a team in the Wednesday night 10s (competition) and they’ve invited the women to play with them as well.

“So just keeping them in the cricket, and letting them know they are respected, this isn’t a male dominated sport, and there’s an ability to play cricket in Bendigo for Maiden Gully.”

For Mel Beames, who had never played cricket before and joined up after seeing the club’s women’s team online, the support and encouragement she’s received has been the best part about becoming involved.

“To include you, and to make you feel part of it, is just awesome,” she said.

A key continuation of the women’s program is the launch of Cricket Victoria’s Social Sixes program at the club this Sunday.

It runs for three weeks, and is open to those aged 13 and over.

Sam Kane

Registrations can be made at www.socialsixes.com.au