The annual Cricket Australia Census has revealed that over one million people are participating in cricket, confirming the game’s place as the nation’s highest participation sport.
The trends are reflected in the ACT, with a record number of 37,766 Canberran’s participating in cricket over the past 12 months – an increase of 6.5%.
Specialist researcher Street Ryan conducted the analysis, and his work confirms cricket as a leading participation sport in Canberra and its surrounding regions.
Local schools and clubs reaped the rewards of increased participation, recording unprecedented numbers of players on their books.
The MILO T20 Blast School Cup competition figures increased significantly with an 18% rise, taking the total to 5967 participants.
The MILO T20 Blast participants in Canberra are often seen at top-level matches at Manuka Oval, donning the colours of the Sydney Thunder and the Sydney Sixers during the innings break.
Cricket made significant ground in schools in the ACT, with yet another MILO initiative proving as popular as ever.
The MILO in2CRICKET program recorded an 11% increase from the previous year with over 17,000 children learning their skills in a fun environment.
Junior cricket saw a large number of teams registered for the past season, with a total of 178 teams pulling on the whites from under 9’s through to under 18’s, whilst six teams being added to the Premier Cricket Twenty20 competition benefited traditional club cricket.
The success of the ACT Rockets Men’s Indoor cricket representative team mirrors the strong position the indoor format is in in the nation’s capital.
Over 4770 participants are registered at a number of centres in the region, a statistic that bodes well for the future of the national champions.
The results demonstrate that Australia’s national sport continues to be a sport of choice for young and old.
ACT and Southern NSW Development Team chief Martin Garoni was pleased with the figures upon their release.
“Our vision is for cricket to be the Australia’s favourite sport and a sport for all Australians. To do that, our job is to encourage more people to play the game,” Garoni said.
“As simple as that may sound, we know that in this day and age there are plenty of barriers and many things competing for people’s time. That’s why these figures are so pleasing.
“To register over a six per cent increase in participation demonstrates the game’s growing appeal and the critical role it plays in helping men, women and children lead active and healthy lives.
“This growth in our schools is reflective of the incredible work of our staff and the ongoing enhancement of national programs which continue to provide kids with safe and enjoyable physical activity.”
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR YABBA;