Photo Credit: Western Australian Cricket Association
The WA Cricket Foundation is thrilled to announce the establishment of a scholarship tailored to support young Aboriginal cricketers.
The Hayward Aboriginal Scholarship has been named after respected Nyoongar elder Professor Colleen Hayward in recognition of her contribution to education and sport, and Aboriginal people in Western Australia.
The scholarship will provide funds to assist recipients with individual training, travel, medical and equipment costs associated with their cricket career development. It will be available annually for up to two Aboriginal cricketers participating in WA Cricket’s Aboriginal Talent Academy.
The Foundation wishes to congratulate its inaugural scholarship recipients; 16-year-old Veronica Keen and 17-year-old Hayden Collins.
Keen plays locally at Midland Guildford Cricket Club in A-Grade and Youth League and was selected in the Under 16’s state squad in 2022.
She has been selected in the WA Female Academy side for the 2023-24 season and is in her second year of pathway programs with WA Cricket.
Keen travelled to Alice Springs as a member of the Aboriginal State XI Tour where she was captain of the side and named player of the series.
Following this, she was named in the Australian Indigenous Women’s Team and travelled to Vanuatu with the squad earlier this year.
Collins also plays locally at Midland Guildford Cricket Club in the Second-Grade competition.
He was part of the Under 17’s State Squad in 2022 where he scored 1000 runs before the Christmas break, including multiple hundreds.
This is Collins’ second year in the Aboriginal Talent Academy, and he has been selected to attend an Australian Indigenous training camp in Melbourne later this month.
The Foundation’s Aboriginal Talent Academy was established in 2022 to create a clearer pathway for talented Aboriginal cricketers from community cricket right through to state representation.
WA Cricket Foundation Head of Philanthropy Carolyn Turner says the scholarship is beneficial for those coming up through the Academy.
“We are committed to providing opportunities to our up-and-coming Aboriginal talent, and this scholarship will allow us to further support worthy participants of our Aboriginal Talent Academy,” Turner said.
“This scholarship will assist the recipients in further progressing their development with the aim of achieving a higher Aboriginal representation in first-class cricket in Western Australia.
“We are excited to follow Veronica and Hayden’s journey over the next year.”
The establishment of the scholarship and its funding was the initiative of John Gardner, through Sustainable Sport Australia, and Stephen Munday, through the Goodeve Foundation.
Mr Gardner says the scholarship will assist talented cricketers within WA Cricket’s Aboriginal pathway.
“This scholarship was established to ultimately grow Aboriginal participation in the game of cricket at all levels and facilitate the development of talented Aboriginal cricketers who show potential to reach state selection,” Gardner said.
“We are honoured to have Colleen Hayward involved given her influence and position within the Aboriginal community in Western Australia and as a former teacher to Stephen and I, it was wonderful to have her announce Veronica and Hayden as our first recipients.
“The Aboriginal Talent Academy is an essential pathway program within WA Cricket and we are thrilled to be supporting the next generation of Aboriginal cricketers through this scholarship.”
The WA Cricket Foundation supports a range of Aboriginal cricket programs across the state. To find out more, click here.