Photo Credit: Western Australian Cricket Association
Significant growth among women and girls, plus the Woolworths Cricket Blast program has seen Western Australia record a 7% increase in registered participants in the 2022-23 Australian Cricket Census.
A total of 62,950 Western Australians participated in organised cricket across Woolworths Cricket Blast, club cricket, social cricket, school competitions and indoor cricket during the census period.
The results in Western Australia, driven by the unwavering commitment of our community volunteers and club administrators, reflected a national trend of recovery following the disruptions caused by COVID-19.
The release of these statistics also coincides with Play Cricket Week, with Perth Scorchers and WA players visiting 36 schools and three metropolitan hub clinics to encourage kids and parents to register for the summer ahead.
Census highlights for WA include:
- Woolworths Cricket Blast registrations increased by 16% year-on-year to 7,038, including 23% growth among girls to 1487 participants.
- Total participation among 5 to 12-year-olds rose 6% to 12,993.
- Female participation grew by 17% to 6,914, which represents a 19% increase on pre-pandemic registrations.
- Senior women’s registered participation increased 12% thanks largely to the Perth Scorchers Women’s League.
- Growth among culturally and linguistically diverse participants in both Woolworths Cricket Blast (+16%) and 5 to 12-year-olds (+7%).
The strong growth among women and girls was driven by many clubs and associations including Bunbury and Districts Cricket Association, the 2022-23 Advancing Female Cricket Award winner at the WA Community Cricket Awards. Their female participation rose 50% for the season, they actively recruited more female committee members and hosted a successful Women’s Country Week to promote the game to local women and girls across country WA.
Junior and senior club cricket registrations remained steady in 2022-23. Senior club registered participation rose to 17,057 (+2%), while there was a slight decline in club cricketers under the age of 12 to 15,019 registered participants (-3%), a legacy of COVID-19’s impact on Woolworths Cricket Blast in recent seasons. Indoor cricket participation declined by 8%, attributable to centre closures caused by the pandemic.
Additionally, programs funded and delivered by the WA Cricket Foundation (not captured in the Australian Cricket Census) continued to leave a lasting impact on the community:
- 1516 young Aboriginal people (+12%) connected with cricket through the Kambarang Carnival and Deadly Cricket and School Leadership Programs.
- Disability programs including Star Blast and the Belt Up Integrated Cricket League provided 993 participants (+15%) an opportunity to experience organised cricket in an inclusive environment.
- The Foundation’s tailored programs for young women, including Emerging Leaders and Team Connect, provided opportunities to 532 participants (+25%).
Many clubs across the state, such as the Margaret River Hawks Cricket Club, delivered outstanding initiatives that shared the joy of playing cricket within their communities. The Club’s ‘Hawkabilities’ program, a 10-week offering for six to 13-year-olds, was the only all-abilities program for children in the Busselton-Margaret River region. It’s significant impact on children in the area was recognised with the Inclusion and Diversity Award at this year’s WA Community Cricket Awards.
Nationally, Census highlights released today by Cricket Australia include:
- Total Registered Participation increased from 598,931 to 627,693 (+5%).
- Registered participation in cricket clubs (junior and senior) and Woolworths Cricket Blast rose from 393,921 to 409,642 (+4%).
- Registered participation among women and girls in cricket clubs (junior and senior) and Woolworths Cricket Blast grew from 35,874 to 50,377 (+40%).
- Kids Aged 5-12 increased from 116,000 to 129,000 (+11%).
- Woolworths Cricket Blast registrations grew from 56,464 to 69,879 (+24%).
- Junior club cricket registrations remained consistent with approx. 108,100 children registered to play.
- South-Asian boys and girls aged 5-12 registered for participation increased by 60% for girls and 16% for boys.
WA Cricket General Manager – Community Cricket, Jo Davies, said:
“WA Cricket is delighted with the growth of the game in our state over the past year, particularly among women, girls and the Woolworths Cricket Blast program.
“We know that cricket’s sustainability is driven by children who learn the foundations of the game early and become participants and fans for life. Similarly, providing access to the game for Aboriginal people, women and girls, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and those living with a disability, creates lifelong experiences for everyone.
“These Census results validate the work of our community volunteers and club administrators in WA to keep cricket healthy during and post-COVID, as we thank them for their tireless efforts.
“These results are also particularly pleasing to see in Play Cricket Week, which is once again poised to set the game up for success this summer as our largest registration drive of the season.”