Batting for change

Chelsea McCarthy has made a compelling case for Macedon Ranges Shire Council to support what could be the first Romsey junior girls’ cricket side.
The 10-year-old put passion to paper in a submission to the council’s budget process seeking funds to kick-start junior girls’ cricket spanning several age groups.
“There are already heaps of girls wanting to play and there is no team in Romsey or Lancefield yet,” Chelsea said.
“If Romsey Cricket Club doesn’t get the money, they sadly will not be able to have as many teams.”
Her application was inspired by the mayor Janet Pearce’s visit to her school and encouragement to raise important community issues. It has also been backed by Romsey Cricket Club junior coordinator James Collins.
Mr Collins said the club was eager to form a girls’ junior side to create more opportunities for females in sport with interest increasing across both Lancefield and Romsey.
“There has been some interest from girls aged eight to 13 years old and I think this could grow the way the girls’ cricket side at Riddells Creek has,” he said.
“It’s really about having the funding to get it up and running with equipment, advertising, set-up and training that the kids need.”
Mr Collins said the club was seeking sponsorship and estimated it would need about $10,000 to get the ball rolling.
Receiving council funding towards the project could be the difference between one to two girls’ junior sides or three, which would increase the initial age groups.
Mr Collins said that for the past three years his own daughter Isobella had played cricket in Romsey’s mixed side but would soon have to stop due to an age barrier, while his two sons would have the option to continue playing for Romsey.
“It’s not fair for girls to have to play elsewhere when the passion is to play locally for Romsey,” he said.
“There’s never been a push for girls so, now, we are really trying to raise the profile.”
Chelsea’s father Tim has had strong involvement with the local club from his youth and was “shocked” but pleased to see his daughter take action to support many young females in the area.
“As a club we’re very committed to seeing it up and running. The reality is that half the population is female and it’s about time we got a girls side up and running,” he said.
“If we can get three girls teams up and running we will be ecstatic. It’s a big investment for the club but it’s something we should do. It will help to create a whole network.”
Chelsea’s bid for funding will be considered alongside 83 others in the budget process. The council will make its final budget decision on June 26.

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