Young cricketers continued to take the field with the number of juniors who registered to play club cricket increasing by 6.3% from last season.
This included a 7% rise in girls registering to play, which stood 33% higher than the pre-COVID season of 2019-2020, and an increase in boys signing up (+5%).
Senior club cricket also made a strong recovery from last season’s COVID impacts with registered participation increasing by 9.4%.
This growth was directly attributed to the outstanding dedication of volunteers across the State who worked tirelessly to make cricket happen, despite the challenges and uncertainty faced throughout the season.
The 2021-22 National Community Cricket Club of the Year Warwick Greenwood Cricket Club (WGCC), known to members as the ‘Red family’, set an outstanding example of a club doing great things in the areas of participation, inclusivity, child safety and mental health. As a result of their hard work, WGCC now stands as the largest cricket club in Perth’s northern suburbs with seven men’s teams and two women’s teams.
Kingsley Woodvale Junior Cricket Club delivered some great initiatives to recruit more girls and boys over 2021-22. The Club experienced impressive growth in junior boy participation with the introduction of three new teams and strong retention in their girls' teams. The Club's Woolworths Cricket Blast program also grew by 40% year-on-year.
Registered participation in WA, including the Woolworths Cricket Blast (WWCB), club cricket, organised school competitions and indoor cricket, held steady compared to last season, with a slight decrease of 1.7%.
Indoor Cricket centres were also hit hard by COVID restrictions throughout the season, likewise school competitions and programs.
Consistent with the trend across the country, WWCB experienced a decline in participation (-18%) in part, due to COVID restrictions in Term 1 causing the cancellation of some community-based programs.
While more than 6,100 Western Australian kids signed up to the important entry-level WWCB program, there is still much work to do to increase this number. WA Cricket has identified the need to attract more first-time participants as a key strategic priority for next season and beyond.
Overall registered participation for women and girls decreased by 10.6%, but it remains 2% higher than pre-COVID 2019-20 numbers. This increase stands as one of the healthiest across the country.
Cricket in WA continues to be a sport for all, with the WA Cricket Foundation supporting the delivery of diversity and inclusion programs across the State. More than 1,000 Aboriginal young people connected with cricket through the Deadly Cricket Program, the inaugural Kambarang Carnival and School Leadership Programs. Almost 600 people with a disability were engaged through the Star Blast program and Belt Up Integrated Cricket League.
Major take-outs from the 2021-22 Australian Cricket Census:
- Junior and Senior Club Cricket - junior player registrations increased (+6.3%) with the number of girls registering up by 7% and boys by 5%. Strong growth in senior club registered participation (+9.4%.
- Diversity - 40% of WWCB and junior club registrations comprised of people from multicultural backgrounds and nearly 2% being people with a disability. Aboriginal girls and boys represent nearly 2% of all junior cricket registered participation.
- Women and Girls - Overall registered participation decreased by 10.6%. The number of junior girls' club-based teams increased (+5%) with 119 teams across the State.
- Woolworths Cricket Blast - declined by 18% from 7,500 last season to 6,100 this season, following another COVID impacted year.
- Registered Participation - registered participation in WA, inclusive of WWCB, club cricket, organised school competitions and indoor cricket, held steady compared to last season, with a slight decrease (-1.7%).
WA Cricket General Manager - Community Cricket Jo Davies said;
“It was pleasing to see so many Western Australians pick up a bat and a ball over the cricket season despite another year of challenges and uncertainties due to the pandemic. We saw club numbers continue to climb and overall registered participation remain steady, thanks to the tireless work of so many dedicated cricket volunteers across the State.
“We now turn our attention to the upcoming season and our mission is to bring more 5 to12 year old kids into cricket. We have a range of key initiatives planned alongside our clubs and associations across the State that form part of Australian Cricket’s five-year community cricket strategy.
“With the growth of women and girls in cricket continuing to be a major priority, we will also continue to develop programs and competition pathways that offer more opportunities for girls and women.
“We’re in a unique situation with the amount of International and domestic cricket being played in Perth this summer, which presents a great opportunity to promote our game and engage with and inspire our WA community.”
The 2021-22 Australian Cricket Census is the 20th annual audit of Australian cricket participation. The Census has become an important measure for Community Cricket, setting targets and monitoring successes and trends for the long‐term enhancement of Australian cricket.
The Census only includes formal participants in organised competitions and programs. It does not include participants in cricket activities which do not meet a minimum program requirement of four weeks/games duration.
The Census is compiled by the Community Cricket department at Cricket Australia and each State and Territory Cricket association, and an independent validation of the process and results is conducted by Street Ryan Consulting.