New pathways giving girls a sporting chance
PERTH Scorchers and South Perth Cricket Club pace ace Piepa Cleary says new national football and netball leagues for women are a major boost for junior athletes.
Despite the Scorchers, Western Fury and South Perth cricketer preferring Australia’s favourite summer sport, Cleary said anything that gets girls onto a playing field was a positive.
“There’s a heap of options and pathways now, which is a really good thing. Hopefully this will get more girls into sport,” she said.
While plenty of attention has been shone on other sports, girls cricket is also booming.
Female participation leapt 27 per cent in 2015-16 to 52,000 players in WA.
That is set to increase again with additional funding helping to expand junior female teams in WA to 50.
“With cricket, we want girls to come down and possibly follow it through the pathways,” Cleary said.
“But if they’re not sure they want to take it that far, then they can play just to have fun.”
The 20-year-old said the success of the Women’s Big Bash League, and T20 cricket in general, was encouraging more girls to give the sport a go.
“We go out to schools now and the girls all know who the Scorchers are,” she said.
Perth Scorchers bowler Piepa Cleary with Caralee Community School students Jade Halliday, Romanika Noun and Kaylen Caruana.