Cricket Australia program connecting kids with Indigenous culture

Cricket Australia’s Woolworths Cricket Blast program will kit out up-and-coming junior cricketers in deadly Aboriginal-designed uniforms in February 2020.

Aimed to develop basic cricket skills in a nurturing environment, Woolworths Cricket Blast program consists of two streams; Junior Blasters for children 5 to 7 years-of-age and Master Blasters for children between 7 and 10.

Both streams are conducted over six to eight weeks and sessions run for an hour in both school terms and holidays.

The program kits out each participant with a pack that includes the newly launched Aboriginal-designed shirt.

The shirt hosts a goanna design created by 16-year-old Dharawal man, Billy Reynolds – one of his three totems.

Twenty-five Aboriginal children from the Woolworths Community Fund cricket program in Port Lincoln attended the official shirt launch in late November at the Woolworths Cricket Blast Test Match Training at Adelaide Oval.

The children were joined by Australian professional cricketers, Marnus Labuschagne, James Pattinson and Joe Burns.

Cricket Australia’s Indigenous Engagement Specialist and proud Butchulla woman, Courtney Hagen, said the new shirt is a conversation starter and promotes celebration and pride in culture to a young audience.

“It’s a great way for cricket to provide kids the opportunity to celebrate the world’s oldest living culture by kitting themselves out in this deadly design and having fun with their friends,” Ms Hagen said.

Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager of Community Cricket, Belinda Clark agrees.

“This unique opportunity shines a light on cricket’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation and how we will provide options for young cricketers to celebrate First Nations cultures,” Ms Clark said.

“There have been many significant uniforms in the recent history of Australian cricket that have celebrated Aboriginal cultures and reconciliation.

“The latest addition, with a youthful audience in mind, is an opportunity to connect our youngest participants with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures.”

The shirts will officially be available to any cricketers who are a member or sign-up as a member to the Woolworths Cricket Blast from January 2020.

“As a fun, fast and action-packed program for girls and boys of all abilities and a must-do summer activity for kids aged between 5 and 10, this shirt brings further recognition to the Woolworths Cricket Blast’s inclusiveness of all Australians,” Ms Clark said.

The release comes in preparation for Cricket Australia’s launch of its second Reconciliation Action Plan on December 6, 2019 in Melbourne. The launch will see the commitment to 104 deliverables over the following three years, driving the organisations continuing support of reconciliation.

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