Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Cricket NSW: Cricketing greats call for female facility funding

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Cricket superstars Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes have called on the NSW Government to follow the Australian Government and other states in announcing new funding programs for female sporting facilities.

Healy and Haynes have also asked the State Government to honour the $11 million commitment made by the former NSW Government for North Sydney Oval upgrades that would significantly improve facilities for players and spectators alike.

In the wake of the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Australian Government has announced a $200 million fund for women’s sport, while Queensland committed $37 million, Tasmania is investing $10 million, South Australia has announced $20 million, and Western Australia has doubled its ‘KidSport’ voucher program to $300 per eligible child.

In February 2023, the former NSW Government committed $11 million for the development of North Sydney Oval as the home of women’s cricket. However, the Minns government is yet to confirm if it will honour this commitment, despite the Labor candidate for North Shore pledging that it would match the funding during the election campaign.

Healy, who is the NSW Women’s team captain and skippered Australia to retain the recent Ashes series, said the funding for North Sydney Oval was crucial for the development of women’s sport.

“Every athlete dreams of playing on elite venues and it’s what our talented female cricketers truly deserve,” Healy said.

“North Sydney Oval has the potential to be the home of women’s cricket in Australia, but it hinges on the government’s commitment to turn this dream into a reality.

“This isn’t just about elite cricketers. It’s about ensuring aspiring female cricketers or footballers from any code have the same opportunities that the males enjoy.”

Haynes, who retired after a decorated career at the end of last year, has now moved into sport’s administration as the Head of Sydney Sixers, a team that uses North Sydney Oval as their main home ground.

“We stand at a pivotal moment in Australian sport,” Haynes said.

“Investing in facilities like North Sydney Oval will leave an enduring legacy for the young girls who have embraced our sport and others.

“Women and girls’ registrations in cricket clubs and Woolworths Cricket Blast in NSW increased 49% last summer alone, and it’s our responsibility to provide those participants with the facilities they deserve.

“You can’t be what you can’t see and both the Australian Cricket team and the Matildas have shown an entire generation of Australians what can be achieved in elite venues attracting record crowds.

“Creating an elite venue for the Australian Women’s cricket team and the Sixers in the WBBL, which is the most watched female league in Australia, ensures we’re paving the way for the next generation, and it’s a path that we must complete.

“We need support for female facilities in NSW now and can’t afford to be left behind by the other states.”

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