Australian Girls Cricket Team Promotes Inclusive Sport on Fiji Tour

Wednesday 23 September 2015. Cricket Without Borders, a twelve-member Australian girls cricket team is in the country this week for a series of matches against the Fiji national women?s team and community activities. The team was treated to an afternoon tea by Australian High Commissioner, Margaret Twomey, yesterday after an eventful few days in Suva.

Since arriving in Fiji the Cricket Without Borders team, with players aged 15 to 21 years, has played three matches with Fijian counterparts.

?There?s been a really good standard of cricket against the national women?s side. It?s been a little bit wet but everyone?s really bonded well,? said player and co-manager Mikayla Haddow. ?We?ve made some really good friends so far and I think it will be a great trip to remember for the future.?

In partnership with the Australian High Commission, they also conducted cricket clinics with over 100 students of a local primary school supported by Australia?s Access to Quality Education Program (AQEP).

?The cricket clinic with the kids yesterday was amazing,? said Ms Haddow. ?Everyone had huge smiles on their faces, especially the little grade ones, they loved it.?

The team is accompanied by Cricket Without Borders founder Claire Cannon, Director Ken Jacobs and their Head Coach, former Australian cricket player at national and state levels Bryce McGain.

?At Cricket Without Borders we encourage girls who are inclusive, who are ready to explore the world and to mentor other girls to come into the sport,? said Ms Cannon. ?One of the things we feel very strongly about is that after you give a girl an education, the next way to empower her is to give her opportunities through sport, to work with other girls in a team and we encourage men to endorse women in sport.?

Touring Fiji for the first time, Cricket Without Borders promotes girls and women in cricket by encouraging life skills development, community service and good sportsmanship are enjoying their Fiji tour and have already made firm friendships with their peers in Cricket Fiji.

Ms Twomey thanked them for contributing to longstanding sporting links between Australia and Fiji, as well as demonstrating the spirit of inclusiveness through sport.

?You are showing that girls and women can play and enjoy sports just as much as anyone else ? and that this spirit of inclusiveness goes beyond the field,? Ms Twomey said. ?Being bold, showing sportsmanship, having fun and making friends is a great philosophy for life as well as sport.?

The team departs Fiji on Friday 25 September.

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