By Molly Magennis
The Altona Sports Cricket Club has seen major growth thanks to it’s push towards building a more multicultural and diverse community.
The club is seeing record numbers for the upcoming season and is fielding four senior sides this year, up from three last year in the Western Suburbs Churches and Community Cricket Association.
Club president and first XI captain Liam Brennan said while the growth of the club can be attributed to the pandemic and an increase in people wanting to be involved in local sports, the clubs focus on inclusivity has been a driving factor.
“Our competition had four divisions ten years ago, I think we now have 15 divisions. So it’s huge, the entire western suburbs have really just gone crazy for cricket,” he said.
“But recently we’ve made a real push into multiculturalism [and] bringing people from all different backgrounds into the club.
“Not just multiculturalism, but providing a place where people from all different backgrounds can play.”
Brennan says one of the ways the club tries to be more inclusive is by providing low cost memberships.
“One of the things we do is we have a very low membership fee, so basically we have sponsors that come onboard that helps pay for the players to play,” he said.
“It’s basically a $5 membership fee to play for the season where most clubs you’re looking at $300 – $400.”
For Brennan, cricket is not just a sport but rather a way for people to connect with others from all walks of life.
“When it comes to game day everyone’s equal, everyone’s the same,” he said.
“It’s a great way for people to learn life skills [and] learn about different cultures. That’s one of the things we want to promote, is that cricket is a very multicultural game.
“It’s not just about playing cricket, it’s about helping people be the best people they can be. That’s what drives us.”
The club’s first XI, which plays in division 4, is set to kick off their season on Saturday against St Johns.