Australian Cricket’s entry-level Woolworths Cricket Blast Program has boomed this season with a 31% increase in registrations across Australia with term one programs still to come.
A program record 66,186 kids have signed up for Woolworths Cricket Blast compared with 50,328 at the same time last season. This already exceeds last season’s total of 64,898 registered participants.
Growth amongst girls has been particularly strong with 17,842 registered so far this season compared with 11,713 at the same time last year – more than last season’s total of 17,814.
The record Blast numbers come on the back of the outstanding performances of Australia’s world champion men’s and women’s team, surging audiences for the Big Bash Leagues as well as an extensive program review.
The review was aimed at enhancing the quality of program offerings, reaching new audiences and providing even better experiences for participants and families.
This included taking Woolworths Cricket Blast into more schools, increasing school holiday availability and continuing to grow the number of local clubs delivering Blast programs.
A key part of Australian Cricket’s current five-year strategy is to double the number of 5-12 year-olds playing cricket.
At the same time, Nielsen Sports research commissioned by Cricket Australia has found Woolworths Cricket Blast is considered the most attractive entry-level sports program in Australia by parents with children aged 5-12.
Of the more than 1500 respondents nationwide, 26% of those with children aged 5-12 would consider enrolling them in Woolworths Cricket Blast, with the AFL’s Auskick program second with 13% and basketball’s Aussie Hoops at 12%.
Brand recognition for Woolworths Cricket Blast was also strong with 52% of parents in this group aware of the program, while awareness among mothers has increased 20% since December 2022.
At the Australian Cricket Awards, Taj Bower from Perth was named Woolworths Cricket Blaster of the Year which celebrates the spirit of the game, teamwork and the joy of playing in Australian Cricket’s entry-level programme.
Taj was nominated for the amazing encouragement he showed his teammates and his passion for cricket, and he will be an ambassador for the program in the next year.
The reach of cricket is extended further via the Woolworths Community Fund, which brings cricket to children who traditionally would not have access to the game.
James Allsopp, CA Executive General Manager, Community and Capability said:
“We’re delighted that so many kids have signed up for Woolworths Cricket Blast this summer with so much cricket still to come and programs still available for Term 1.”
“We’re extremely fortunate to have so many inspirational role models in our world champion men’s and women’s Australian teams, the excitement of the Big Bash Leagues and hard-working Woolworths Cricket Blast centre operators, club volunteers and schools helping drive participation.
“I’m also extremely grateful to Woolworths for their wonderful partnership, particularly through the Woolworths Community Fund which provides programs for children who may not ordinarily have access to the game, and everyone across Australian Cricket who assisted with the review of our entry-level program.
“The implementation of these changes has made Woolworths Cricket Blast an even more enjoyable experience for kids and families.
“It’s pleasing that Woolworths Cricket Blast has been recognised by so many parents with kids aged 5-12 as an attractive program and that cricket is enhancing its long-held place as Australia’s national sport.”