By Molly Magennis
Williamstown CYMS Cricket Club has achieved another club milestone, fielding a junior girls team for the first time in the club’s history.
The new junior under-11 girls’ team debuted this season and was established after the club introduced the first senior women’s team during the 2020-21 season.
CYMS Junior Cricket President Jim Miller said it made sense for the club to introduce a junior team after the success they had with the seniors who managed to win a grand final in their first year.
“We tried to see if we could encourage junior girls who had an interest in playing cricket because you know, our junior club supports our senior club,” he said.
“It’s all about providing a pathway I suppose for our junior cricketers to then head into senior cricket. If we were going to be successful in our senior girls, it made sense to us that we were developing junior girls.”
Over the past year the club has made it a real priority to get the word out about their junior girls team, producing flyers and doing campaigns in local primary schools.
“We didn’t know how successful it was going to be, so we upped our ante, tried to do whatever we could, encouraging or sort of letting people know that we were trying to get an under-11 and an under-13 girls’ team,” Miller said.
“It was really pleasing when you know, we got our first couple of first couple of registrations, and then we got a couple of more and then before we knew it, we had seven girls registered for under-11’s.”
With two wins, two loses and one draw under their belt, Miller said the girls are enjoying their time on the pitch, and their presence had created a whole new environment at the club.
“[They’re] just 100 per cent there, happy to play a game of cricket,” he said.
“They just enjoy the companionship and friendship and their time [there].
“We’ve got one of the mums [who] is the team manager, one of the girls’ mums as the coach, you know it just creates a whole new environment.”
Miller said the club is focused on expanding the girls’ program into the future.
“Myself and the committee, we’ve always said this isn’t about having a girls team and being able to say that we’ve got a girls team, this is around providing an opportunity for girls who want to play cricket to have somewhere they can come and play cricket.
“I’m sure there’s more out there that would love to play cricket and probably don’t know where they can.
“For those that are interested they can contact the club, even for the under-11’s [we’ll still welcome] any girl that wants to come down and play cricket.”