Cricket participation reaches new heights

National Cricket Census reveals the sport has experienced strong growth across the country with a 9 per cent increase

Cricket participation has experienced strong growth, with both females and males, according to figures released today in the 2017-18 National Cricket Census.

One of the key highlights of the census revealed that 30 per cent of cricket’s participant base are females, translating to six in every 10 new participants

This participation increase is one of the highest year-on-year growth figures Cricket Australia has experienced. The census also revealed a record breaking 1,558,821 Australians have actively engaged in cricket competitions or programs – an increase on 9 per cent from the previous year.

This includes 854,951 participants engaging in cricket programs in schools and 703,870 players engaging in regular competitions or club-based programs at junior and senior level.

The increase in participants reinforces the importance of last week’s funding commitment. In partnership with Cricket Australia, the state and territory associations, announced investing $35 million over the next three years to significantly grow and support community cricket.

The substantial injection of money is aimed at improving the facilities and cricketing experience for players, coaches and volunteers across the country in order to grow sustainable competitions for players.

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“We are thrilled to see the number of Australians playing cricket continue to grow year-on-year,” Cricket Australia’s Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said.

“To have more than 1.5 million Australians participating in cricket last season is a fantastic result, highlighting the passion Australians have for cricket.

“We are pleased with the uptake of young children experiencing cricket through programs specifically designed for schools.

“More than 850,000 young Australians participated in these programs in 2017-18 – these entry level numbers are outstanding, and we hope the programs help instil a love of the game that will see them continue to play and enjoy their cricket. We are working hard with the community to ensure this interest and enthusiasm is transferred to regular playing opportunities.

“We have more women and girls playing cricket than ever before, and The Growing Cricket for Girls Fund, with support from Commonwealth Bank, has been an overwhelming success and a program we will continue to invest heavily in.

“We are particularly pleased with 619 new junior girls’ teams creating opportunities for the next Meg Lanning or Ellyse Perry to learn the game.

“The participation growth is a fitting reflection on the hard work put in by so many around the country. Our clubs, associations and schools, our dedicated volunteers, coaches and umpires all make an invaluable contribution in ensuring the quality of the experience for those that pick up a bat and ball each season.

“Our coaching ranks have also increased substantially, with free community coaching courses in 2017-18 helping to raise our number of accredited coaches by more than 24 percent. Our umpiring numbers have remained consistent with 3,577 accredited umpires across Australia in 2017-18, but there continues to be opportunity.”

Other key statistics from the National Cricket Census include:

- Multicultural participation rose by 4 percent to 268,596, making up 22 per cent of all participants

- Indigenous participation increased by 1 percent to 64,921 to make up 5.2 per cent of all participants

- Participants with a disability remained constant at 25,846 making up 2.1 per cent of all participants

- Accredited coaches increased by 24 percent to 34,380 and accredited umpires were constant at 3,577

“We are committed to being Australia’s number one participation sport, by providing the best learning and experiences, and these latest figures indicate we are striving for success in this area right across Australian Cricket,” Sutherland said.

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