Photo Credit: New Zealand Cricket
Cricket Wellington (CW) piloted an initiative alongside the Changemakers Resettlement Forum (an NGO supporting refugee families in Wellington) to give opportunities to children from refugee families to play cricket. This was an enormous success, with six children from various backgrounds registered with a local club. The 2021/22 season has built on the previous year’s success and now has nine children playing cricket for their local club.
Changemakers promotes the opportunity to its communities and supports an initial meeting between the potential player(s), CW, and a local club representative. Nine children are participating this season with their subscriptions paid by CW or an individual cricket club. Additional costs for uniforms are paid by Wellington City Mission, gear required was covered by the individual cricket club, and CW gave each player a kit bag to practice at home with.
CW‘s vision is “Cricket is a game for all.” This project promotes inclusion through providing communities with an opportunity to become involved in cricket that they may otherwise not have had. CW understands that many of these children come from difficult situations and acknowledges that playing sport may not be a financial priority for many families.
In addition, many New Zealanders have not had a lot of social engagement with members of refugee communities. Through involving children of refugee communities in projects like this, CW hopes to open the social dialogue among New Zealanders and educate the wider community of the contributions and benefits that many ethnic and refugee communities can offer.
Cricket is a team sport that encourages partnership, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Through encouraging involvement from a young age, CW hopes to instil these values in young players, that they will take these values into their participation in society.