Cricket NSW Southern NSW/ACT Area Manager, Martin Gleeson says this is a result of dedication from club volunteers and the Junior Growth Strategy which was released in 2019. The Strategy provides a roadmap for the advancement of junior cricket in the region through to 2023.
Gleeson stated, “Club volunteers have done a fantastic job in setting up the season and providing an opportunity for more kids to play. They did a heap of work in a short period of time to get cricket up and running post-lockdown and their hard work has paid off.”
The ACT region now has 204 junior cricket teams compared to 191 in the 2020/21 season. Since the establishment of the Junior Growth Strategy, the number of junior cricket teams has increased by 35 teams in total.
Of the 13 new teams this season, four are girls teams – going from a total of 17 girls teams in 20/21 to 21 girls teams in 21/22. It is a standing objective of Cricket ACT and Cricket NSW to increase female participation in the sport and this growth is evidence that cricket administrators are achieving that objective.
The growth can also be attributed to the clubs’ Woolworths Cricket Blast programs which give children an opportunity to play cricket in a fun and non-committal capacity before deciding to register for the season. Gleeson said, “It’s also been really encouraging that clubs which are seeing growth in Stage 1 junior teams are doing so on the back of providing great experiences in their Woolworths Cricket Blasts.”
While all clubs have done an excellent job to ensure the ACT has a successful season, Cricket ACT were exceptionally pleased that ANU, Grammar, Marist, Radford, St Edmunds College, Western District and Queanbeyan all increased their junior team numbers for the 21/22 season.
In addition to Cricket ACT affiliated clubs, City and Suburban club Canberra Rhinos as well as new club Yerrabi District are playing in the CDC Data Centres Junior Competition for their first season ever.