It’s the first official season of women’s cricket for the Far South Coast and teams are competing from Eden, Tathra, Kameruka, and South Eurobodalla.
Many of the players had only ever played cricket on beaches or at barbeques before the first ‘Pink Stumps’ charity game for the Jane McGrath Foundation four years ago.
The community-oriented fundraising effort eventually grew into this inaugural season.
“We just had so much fun and the team had come so far after those Pink Stump events that Kameruka Cricket Club approached the cricket association about forming a women’s team,” Coach Simon Szanto, of Candelo, explains.
Simon is a big supporter of women’s sport and says he has seen improvements to the culture and success of sporting clubs in Melbourne with only one change – welcoming women.
“One football club I was part of in Melbourne was basically known for it’s fighting – one big brawl,” Simon says “and they joined up with the women’s netball team and over a few years it’s turned into a family club.”
Simon aims to promote women’s sport as much as he can, believing that having women involved “changes the fabric of a sporting club in a really positive way”.
He acknowledges that many women’s cricket team members “didn’t grow up leaning on a cricket bat,” a point that makes him even more impressed with the improvements he has seen.
However, each team has an ace up their sleeve – a young rep player or two who changes the nature of the games and keeps each team improving, Kameruka co-captain Sophie Martin adds.
“In Kameruka, we have Janet King from Candelo and there are a few other young rep players worth watching who give us old ladies tips on improving our game,” Sophie jokes.
Despite being apparent novices, the Kameruka Pink Cockatoos have performed well for their first season, with a win and a loss against each team they have played so far.
“We did not have a win this weekend against South Eurobodalla,” Sophie reports “but we knew they were tough, they have a lot of big hitters and strong bowlers. We played a nice tight game last match but this time, they smashed us. Somehow, it was still a really fun game though!”
The match against South Eurobodalla was notable in that they got through Kameruka’s whole batting order, something that has never happened in Sophie’s time playing cricket.
“We usually run through five or six batters at the most,” she says.
The losses this season have all been home games, although Sophie says the team loves Kameruka’s historic cricket ground.
With the final looming, Sophie is doubtful Kameruka will be on the field after their last loss, but she says that it’s likely that all 18 players will be in attendance to watch it play out.
“Some of us are in it to win, but mostly it’s very chill and very friendly so we’ll definitely be cheering at the final no matter if we’re playing or not,” she says.
And the pink shirts? A holdover from the cancer fundraising games, explains Sophie and one that means the team stands out on the field.
“I’m not sure how I feel about the pink,” Sophie laughs “that shirt is definitely the only pink thing I own!”
Kameruka Cricket Club is hosting cricket and a conversation this weekend and making time to ask “Are You OK?” from 12 pm on Saturday, 9 March. For more information, please visit the cricket club’s Facebook page.
To view results from the season so far for the Kameruka Pink Cockatoos, check the Far South Coast Cricket Association website.