The Rural

The guide to making a real difference in your local cricket club

Secret Harbour Dockers Cricket Club is giving back to their community, thanks to the NRMA Insurance $15,000 Community Cricket Club Grant. Photo supplied.
Secret Harbour Dockers Cricket Club is giving back to their community, thanks to the NRMA Insurance $15,000 Community Cricket Club Grant. Photo supplied.
The guide to making a real difference in your local cricket club
The guide to making a real difference in your local cricket club

Looking to make a difference in your local cricket club?

Hoping to initiate change and growth to help support the players that represent your community?

This handy guide will highlight all the areas you can make a difference in your local cricket club, whether you are an avid cricket supporter or a community member looking to improve the club your loved one plays with.

Within the diverse landscape of Australian sports, local cricket stands out as an engaging environment that fosters athletic prowess and community cohesion.

Members can go beyond expressing their passion for the sport. They can also share a strong sense of belonging, learn discipline, and nurture talents that may eventually be seen on the national or international stage.

So long as they have the right support to make it there.

Revitalising your local club: A community effort

Change doesn't just happen on its own.

Real, sustainable change comes from a cohesive effort by a group of people deeply invested in inspiring development and growth.

That's why revitalising your local cricket club can only be done through community effort.

Having multiple people involved in efforts to generate change increases fresh ideas with a full panel to discuss logistics.

Ideas can be vetted collectively, ensuring that every voice in the community is heard so that any developments made benefit everyone.

Generating community engagement is as simple as fostering a strong sense of connection and pride in the local cricket club.

Having a sense of shared ownership will make community members more invested in putting time and effort into helping revitalise the club.

This can be achieved through opening up communication paths between the club and the community, encouraging the latter to have their voices heard.

Community engagement can be created by offering fun activities that directly involve members of the public with the club itself.

Charity events, raffles, barbeques, and open cricket games are examples of how the club can create a basis for community involvement.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to creating community engagement is your community's values.

Reaching out to the public is best done by connecting with their collective values.

Sustainable practices for cricket club growth

In order to successfully grow and develop a cricket club, sustainable strategies must be implemented.

Otherwise, the changes made will only be feasible in the short term and will not result in foundational developments that can be relied upon.

Some examples of sustainable practices for cricket club growth include:

Community outreach programs

Engaging directly with the community through outreach programs and events is a simple yet effective means of attracting new players, volunteers, and supporters.

Regularly scheduling these events will ensure the sustainability of this strategy.

Youth development initiatives

The youth are the future of any sport, so secure it by implementing programs that identify and foster young talent.

This can be done through coaching clinics or youth leagues, which ensures a pipeline of skilled players that grow alongside the club.

Facility upkeep

Staying on top of the well-being of club facilities through regular assessments and upkeep can create an engaging environment for players and supporters.

People in the community are more likely to remain involved with a club that covers all of their needs.

Promoting inclusivity and diversity

Taking the time to ensure all members of the community feel like they belong at the club can go a long way to creating a sustainable and growing environment.

Creating cricket programs that promote inclusivity widens the club's appeal and potential for support.

Trying out multiple strategies is the best way to guarantee success in some capacity.

Find out what best suits your local cricket club and the community before enacting a long-term strategy.

Leveraging grants and external support

One of the most impactful strategies for enhancing a cricket club's operations and community presence has been leveraging grants and securing external support.

A notable example of such an initiative was the partnership between Cricket Australia and NRMA Insurance, which culminated in implementing a significant grant program for local cricket clubs.

The Community Cricket Club Grants Program (Cricket Grants) offered eight local cricket clubs a unique opportunity to secure substantial funding.

This financial support was aimed at fostering the development and growth of these organisations, ensuring a brighter future for community cricket.

NRMA Insurance set an ambitious goal to raise $120,000 through their 'Pitch In' initiative, intending to distribute these funds equally among the selected clubs.

The Pitch In initiative brought small games to the public at NRMA Insurance test matches, turning each ball hit into a contribution towards the grant fund.

This innovative approach not only engaged cricket fans but also directly benefited the grassroots level of the sport.

The clubs were empowered to utilise the grants in various capacities, focusing on sustainable development and growth.

This flexibility allowed each club to address its unique needs, whether it be upgrading facilities, purchasing new equipment, subsidising membership fees, strengthening its foundation or expanding its reach within the community.

For those interested, you can see more about NRMA Insurance's strategies for thriving community cricket clubs to learn how the Cricket Grants have helped other cricket clubs.

Inclusivity and diversity in cricket

Ensuring that your cricket club is both inclusive and diverse is a significant change to make.

If you are looking to create a more welcoming environment for players and supporters alike, try some of the following:

Promoting diversity in leadership

Placing diverse community members within positions of power is a surefire way of generating sustainable change.

Their voices will have the authority to create an inclusive culture while bringing various perspectives to decision-making.

Key positions of leadership to consider include coaches, committee members, and administrators.

The Australian Institute of Sport has noted the need for gender diversity in sports leadership roles. It has taken steps to promote more female coaches.

Establishing inclusive policies

Take the time to develop community anti-discrimination and inclusivity policies.

Ensuring all club members understand and follow these policies will create a safe and welcoming environment.

Diverse programs

Introducing cricket programs that cater to a range of ages, genders, and skill levels not only broadens the club's appeal but also keeps more players interested.

Try creating a youth league, introducing women's cricket, or organising programs for disabled players.

Celebrate diversity

Acknowledge the diverse backgrounds of club members by celebrating cultural or religious milestones.

This can be done through awareness campaigns, collaborative celebrations, or offering leeway for certain practices.

Including this celebration in a cricket club makes it a welcoming environment that is informative and enjoyable for all.

Check-in with diverse community and cricket club members to get their input on what you can do to promote more inclusivity.

Engaging the youth: The future of cricket

The future of cricket lies in the hands of the young players, so your club must keep them engaged and continuing to play.

Developing youth programs and junior cricket initiatives is integral to ensuring this engagement as it directly addresses the target audience.

Planning programs like these develop talent that could produce skilled professional athletes and build a strong cricket culture.

By instilling a love for the sport and acknowledging individual efforts, young players are more likely to continue playing for the club, creating a long-term player base.

Youth programs also teach valuable life skills and a healthy lifestyle, encouraging the continuation of their training in order to grow into their best selves.

Greater engagement with the younger members of the community in cricket is achievable by:

  • Partnering with schools, such as after-school programs, to introduce cricket to students.
  • Community events and festivals that showcase cricket activities.
  • Organising youth-specific cricket clinics that are fun and educational.
  • Creating junior leagues and competitions to develop skills and create a strong community within the youth.
  • Marketing through social media and community outreach.
  • Organising cricket camps and holiday programs.
  • Ensuring that there are free or low-cost introductory programs to make the sport accessible.

Building a strong volunteer base

Most local cricket clubs would not be operational without the effort and time put in by volunteers from the community.

You can make a difference in your local club by building a stronger volunteer base, the backbone of most events and training initiatives.

Try some of the following strategies:

  • Clearly defining roles and expectations to allow potential volunteers to know exactly where their skills and time can be best contributed.
  • Always recognise and appreciate the efforts of volunteers to motivate continued engagement and create a positive atmosphere.
  • Offer flexible commitment levels to accommodate all individuals and their differing schedules.
  • Match volunteer skills with specific roles, especially those that match their interest, so they can enjoy and excel at their responsibilities.
  • Provide training and development programs to provide volunteers with the right tools and resources.
  • Maintain open communication channels to ensure everyone's voices are heard and acknowledged.
  • Encourage family involvement to help strengthen community bonds and make volunteering a shared, enjoyable experience.

Attempting just some of these strategies will surely generate a stronger engagement of your cricket club with the community.

However, checking in with others for their thoughts on how your volunteer base can be boosted is always best.


Making a difference in your local cricket club does not happen immediately. It takes time, planning, and careful consideration as to how sustainable change can be created.

It is also important to consider key areas of your club that will require the most change, such as community engagement, growth, inclusivity and diversity, and a strong volunteer base.

However, anyone can make a difference so long as they are committed.

Take an active role in your club and find other like-minded people to facilitate change at both a community and organisational level.

Change begins with you!