Dad and daughter team establish successful girls' league | Adelaide Strikers - BBL
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Dad and daughter team establish successful girls' league

07 June 2017

Chloe Smith (far left) has been a driving force behind the Strikers Girl's League in the Mid North.

After spending years on the sidelines watching the boys play, persuasive teenager Chloe Smith was soon signing up participants for the Mid North Strikers Girls’ Cricket League.

The Stanley Cricket Association were successful in their application for Growing Cricket for Girls funding, going on to establish the Mid North League last season to engage girls aged 11 to 18 in cricket.

Chloe’s father, Scott, is convinced that his 15-year-old daughter’s powers of persuasion will make her a great lawyer someday.

“Chloe was the driver in getting numbers to the mid north league – we had 24 girls participating every week in Clare, most of whom had never played any cricket before,” said Scott, who is the President of the Stanley Cricket Association.

“We were all about creating a fun environment – I called it ‘cover-drives and cartwheels’. There were probably more cartwheels than cover-drives! We always had music blaring, helping to create that Big Bash League feel.”

Chloe has spent a large proportion of her childhood around cricket as a direct result of her dad being so passionate about the game.

“I loved going to the cricket with my dad because I always loved the atmosphere as a little kid – I still do,” Chloe said.

“I wanted to get more involved after watching the boys play. The idea of girls’ cricket came up and I really wanted to be a part of it!”

The year 10 Clare High School student convinced groups of girls at school to come along, bring their friends and join the new league.

“I told them they got free shirts and hats and also got to meet famous cricketers! We had a lot of fun every week without judgment,” she said.

“The best thing was mingling with girls from other towns and making new friends, especially because sport is such a huge thing living in a country town. I also loved interacting with girls of all different skill levels and developing new skills myself – I turned out to be a pretty good ‘keeper!”

Scott was so pleased that the Growing Cricket for Girls funding meant their League was able to purchase correctly-sized equipment for young female participants and provide healthy food options each week.

“Once you take away those barriers, there was really no excuse for the girls to not come along and have fun,” he said.  

James Lang from Jamestown and Ben Brown from Port Pirie were the other key drivers behind making the league so successful this past season.

“They are both similar minded to me and realised that these girls’ leagues are a great opportunity to develop clubs and associations – people would be mad not to get behind it,” Scott said.

Growing Cricket for Girls funding applications close on 19 June. Click to find out how your club, association or school can apply.

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