The powerhouse of Australian sport has always been in its grass roots.

A sports-crazed country that punches way above its weight always requires its public heroes – just like our Southern Stars currently doing battle in the Women’s Ashes in England.

But to get to that point, all those women took their first step on a far less conspicuous cricketing stage.

The surge in interest in women’s sport has underlined the need for more resources to be made available to girls and young women – and the Wallington Cricket Club is, if you’ll pardon the pun, getting on the front foot.
The Wallabies have become the most recent beneficiary of the Portarlington Golf Club Community Contribution Fund as they seek to provide a place to play for so many budding Bellarine cricketers.

In the past three years, the number of girls playing junior cricket at Wallington has gone from zero to a phenomenal 32. In the past two years, the number of senior women has gone from zero to 26.

“We’re thrilled to see so many girls and women want to play cricket and that they see us as an accessible club where they can learn to play safely and without judgement and to be themselves irrespective of their background,” Wallington CC president Marc Occhipinti said.

“But from nothing to where we are now in such a hurry – plus the expectation of many more women and girls in the near future – has put a strain on our existing resources.
“Not to mention the requirements for additional skills and facilities to ensure we’re doing all we can to encourage them to be their best in the future.”
To that end, Portarlington Golf club has granted the Wallington women’s division $3500.

The club has already appointed a women’s coach and women’s co-ordinator for the upcoming season and will also use the funding to help cover the costs of equipment and the provision of “come and try” days before summer arrives to attract even more newcomers.

“We’re extremely grateful to the Portarlington Golf Club for helping make these ideas realities for girls and women who’ve wanted to give cricket a go but never been able to take the step until now,” Occhipinti said.

Golf club chief executive Michael Phillips is eager to see more young women engaged in sport.
“Like our sport, it’s really about removing all barriers for prospective new players, so we’re excited to play our part in helping Wallington Cricket Club push that goal along,” Phillips said.

“Who knows – the next Ellyse Perry could be at Wallington for the first time this summer!”
The Portarlington Golf Club has given charitable support of more than $125,000 in the past four financial years, including more than $30,000 specifically via its Community Contribution Fund.

The CCF was established to support not-for-profit community or sporting organisations to make positive improvements that will, in turn, benefit the wider community.

2023 07 news wallibies
Wicketkeeper Sarah Kelsall, club secretary and batter Sophie Hill and potential all-rounder Leesa Nicholls at Wallington’s first come-and-try day for the season.