In an era where we’re pressed for time but also where there’s an increased focus on participation and activity such as the This Girl Can and Move it Aus campaigns, Social Sixes has landed to get more women involved in playing the game.
Social Sixes is a Vic Health funded campaign led by Caitlin Honey, Social Cricket Project Officer at Cricket Victoria. It’s one of eight sports associations that was funded in the last 18 months through the Active Women and Girls for Health and Wellbeing Program.
“Social Sixes is not reinventing the wheel, but we’re trying to break down a lot of those stigmas and barriers surrounding sport, specifically women, to enter into the sport,” Honey said.
Honey highlighted that research has shown women don’t want to be out there all day playing cricket for a variety of reasons including they don’t feel it’s a safe culture and they perceive it to be not inclusive.
“We’ve created these programs and we run them in parks, in recreation reserves, indoors, in gyms, anywhere essentially that there’s just a big enough open space.
“They run for an hour and you can just drop in and drop out. There are no registration fees, it’s just rock up and play. Essentially like Rock Up Netball but cricket. So you just pay as you play”.
Honey went on to highlight that part of breaking down the barriers and making the sport more accessible to everyone is that Cricket Victoria provides all of the equipment and it’s played with a soft ball.
“That’s the beauty of it, there are no pads or helmet required because we don’t have the hard ball.”
As a further incentive for women to get out there and have a go, Cricket Victoria are not trying to make money off the initiative. Instead, they’re just trying to make it as accessible as possible with a $10 fee per session.
Honey highlighted that this isn’t necessarily a sustainable model and there are measures in place to gauge the success of the program to ensure it's scalable.
“It’s evaluated by Latrobe [Uni]. We look at how much physical activity they did beforehand including questions such as ‘Do you feel confident playing sport? Do you feel confident playing cricket’ so there’s sort of a baseline.
“There are 16 regions that Cricket Victoria run - eight metro and eight regional - so it will be running all throughout Victoria over Summer.
"We’ve had a really good retention rate. Whatever it is that we’re delivering, they keep coming back."