Moorabbin Cricket Club
In 2008, Moorabbin Cricket Club, 16km south of the Melbourne CBD, set up a small cricket program for some individuals with All Abilities. The first All Abilities cricket training session had more coaches than players. The second session, a few weeks later, wasn't much better. By the time of the first State Carnival, it could only manage to field seven (7) players in the 'Ten Over Tonk'.
Leading into the second season, to the club's surprise, numbers quickly swelled to about 15 players. It was obvious that word had spread that the Moorabbin Cricket Club was doing well as more players started to turn up and join the program. Leading into its sixth season, the club anticipates over 50 players being a part of the all abilities program.
"We've been asked many times, "what is the key to your program's success?" The answer is very simple: establish a program that genuinely focuses on inclusive practices and attitudes and is supported by all levels of the club."
- Steve Lefebvre, Moorabbin CC, All Abilities Coordinator
Case Study Tips:
- Make your All Abilities sports program integrated in the framework of the club and not a separate, standalone program.
- Establish an All Abilities subcommittee and encourage players' parents to take on specific roles and areas of responsibility, i.e. Secretary, Treasurer, sponsorship, registration, communications (website, newsletters etc.). An All-Abilities player representative must also feature on the subcommittee.
- Offer multiple formats for varied levels of ability, e.g. Super League and Ten Over Tonk. Super League caters for higher functioning players and focuses on competition whilst Ten Over Tonk is designed for less able bodied players, with the focus on participation.
- Seek out local council or Disability Services about disability-orientated training courses (e.g. specialised communications strategies, Autism awareness) and offer these to coaches and program assistants to equip them with the necessary skills to manage the program.
- Work with your local council or state/territory cricket association to identify special schools (junior and senior) in your area to recruit program participants.
- Sponsorship is critical to the success and sustainability of an All Abilities program. Local Banks and businesses are often a good source of funding and they are very supportive of community sports programs.
- Run occasional Super League or high functioning training sessions alongside your mainstream senior training sessions. This will help integrate All Abilities players with mainstream cricketers with the aim to them playing in the club's senior teams.
- All Abilities players should be invited to attend all club social functions as this is one of the key indicators of a truly integrated and successful All Abilities program.
All Abilities Cricket at Moorabbin Cricket Club
Female Administrators Rebuilding Barron River Cricket Club
Two years ago Barron River Cricket Club faced extinction with more than $17,000 in debt.
With its 21-year history at stake, president Narelle Emery set about rebuilding the club.
Narelle has helped the club gain vital grants to lead the club out of debt, overseeing all aspects of the rebuild, from installing a new pitch to shoring up the club's finances and recruiting volunteers.
The rebuild has been in part due to the female focus of the club. The club had a female secretary and treasurer during the rebuild, and has been involved in T20 and Under 14 competitions dedicated to girls.
There are plans afoot to introduce more female participation opportunities, beginning next season.
The rebuild of Barron River Cricket Club shows the power what can be achieved with strong leadership, the tireless support of volunteers and creative sourcing of funding.
Case Study Tips:
- Have a well-balanced committee who can bounce off one another and make the right decisions for the club.
- Listen to your members, their needs, their opinions, their suggestions.
- Utilise the resources available to your club. Look inside your club's walls (members, parents, players) before looking externally.
- Search widely and secure all sponsorship opportunities, whether they are big, small or in-kind.
- Have a long term vision for the club that includes plans for the ground, facilities and structure of administration.
- Define clear roles within the club. Give each role set responsibilities.
- Support your members, whether it be players, volunteers, or members in a significant role, always support their role and never knock them for trying.
- Foster enjoyment. If everyone within the club enjoys what they are doing then this will set a great future for your club.
Action Indoor Sports Salisbury
Action Indoor Sports Salisbury in South Australia runs a competition for adults with intellectual disabilities alongside its "mainstream" programs.
The program is supported by SACA and Inclusive Sports SA but is maintained by the centre. Four teams compete in two seasons per year. Each season culminates in finals.
Community Cricket Ambassador Daniel McKay has taken on the programming to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities have access to sporting opportunities in his local community, offering the program at a reduced rate and ensuring an inclusive environment for participants.
Case Study Tips:
Working in partnership is vital:
- Action Indoor Sports Salisbury concentrates on running a quality indoor cricket experience.
- Inclusive Sports SA assisted with providing a "Coordinator" to support the competition i.e. player payments, player personal details, communication etc.
- The SACA coordinates the successful 'skill sessions'.
- Run the competition with limited modifications to maintain the integrity of the sport, but encourage maximum participation.
- Coordinate competition alongside 'regular' competitions to demonstrate the available pathway.
Sunshine Heights Cricket Club
The Sunshine Heights Cricket Club (SHCC) was formed in 1954 by the predominantly Anglo community that resided in the City of Sunshine at the time. The club competed against other local teams in what was the Sunshine Cricket Association. The mid 60s through to the 70s saw an influx of Europeans immigrating to the area.
The SHCC committee undertook to embrace these new migrants and welcomed them into the club. This was a positive step as it highlighted to everyone that the SHCC was an all-inclusive club. The club has successfully integrated later immigrating groups including South Asian, Vietnamese and African.
Best Practice Tips:
- Ensure sincere club welcomes through formal Welcoming Officer, new player pack and induction program.
- Nurture new members - Once in the team use the Buddy system to assist integration. Make club cap presentation into a major ceremony involving coach and captain.
- Deal positively with barriers including applying for grants for groups with special requirements.
- Celebrate achievements of all club members.
- Provide leadership opportunities for all groups including captain/vice captain, committee roles and event management.
- Ask, include, share, announce - bring new members into decision making process.
- Work closely with Local Council including appointing a council liaison officer with regular tabled correspondence. Invite Local Council reps to be involved in events.
- Establish close school relationships - visit schools, assist with clinics, build relationships with key influencers including PE teachers, principals and P&C.
- Maintain a positive culture - reinforce this regularly from initial induction to monthly meetings, events and games.