Dads and Daughters Cricket program to be rolled out in Newcastle
12 December 2021
Cricket NSW has formed what is hoped to become a long-standing partnership with the University of Newcastle to deliver a sport specific version of it's boundary breaking Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered program.
The nine-week program aims to connect dads and daughters as they learn about cricket in a safe and fun environment.
It was first delivered in Newcastle and Sydney in 2020 to coincide with the ICC T20 Women's World Cup but had a disrupted start due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, it is set to be rolled out in various locations around Newcastle in 2022 along with Sydney, Victoria and Western Australia.
Cricket Australia's national female participation manager Jane Moffat was in Newcastle on Sunday to relaunch the revolutionary program that she described as the "missing piece in the puzzle" as the sport aims to attract and retain female participants.
The 2020-21 Australian Cricket Census reported only 14 per cent of junior participants were girls.
The Dads and Daughters program has been designed to break down barriers faced by girls aged seven to 12.
"Girls might perceive it as being a boys sport or avoid it because it's too hard, it's too complicated," Moffat said.
"So, this offered an easy entry point to girls who were reluctant to sign up for something where it's just going to be them and they've got no support.
"The dads are very much involved with this program, so it feels safe."
University of Newcastle Professor Phil Morgan formulated the DADEE program and said benefits of the cricket version included developing social-emotional skills as well as practical skills while also improving girls' knowledge of the sport.
"It's incredibly rewarding to, firstly, see people's reaction to the program and impact it has on families," Professor Morgan said.
"But, also, for other organisations to hear and see the program, recognise how important it is to support and empower our girls then to run a program that really does fill a gap for many of these traditionally male-dominated sports.
"We really want to be able to excite girls about the possibilities in these sports regardless of their background and interests."
In 2018, Newcastle Junior Cricket Association (NJCA) female junior registrations numbered 148 players and six all-girl teams.
Last summer, a record 333 players were registered and there were 15 all-girls' teams. That included girls from the Junior and Master Blaster programs, for kids aged five to 10, through to girls in NJCA competition.
At senior level, the Newcastle District Cricket Association Women's T20 League has grown from four teams to nine in three years.
Find out more about the Dads and Daughters Cricket program through www.cricketaustralia.com.au/daughtersanddadscricket.