All too often girls are pushed into stereotypical sports or encouraged to move away from ‘male’ sports, and while there is nothing wrong with netball, gymnastics, softball or tennis, why can’t our girls play cricket, AFL or soccer without the raise of eyebrows and questioning over their choice?
Michelle Payne is a shining example for girls and women everywhere, riding to victory as the first female jockey in the history of the Melbourne Cup. Ignoring calls for her to quit or being told that she isn’t good enough simply because she is a female, Michelle went on to create history. And what better stage to demonstrate just how good girls are in sport than at the race that stops a nation.
Sarah Taylor, an English wicketkeeper/batter like Michelle, has also rewritten a piece of history in the past month becoming the first female to play in the Men’s A Grade Cricket Competition here in South Australia. The competition was first established in 1897, an outstanding achievement by Sarah, which has only taken 118 years!
So what does this mean for our MacKillop girls? Well with Michelle’s history creating ride and Sarah’s recent debut in mind, the Year 10 PE class has taken on cricket to finish the year off. After being given a choice of a number of sports, the girls leapt at the chance to play cricket, with many commenting that they have watched brothers and their male counterparts play all the time but haven’t themselves.
The girls have embraced all elements of the sport, learning bowling, batting and wicket-keeping techniques. Fast paced bowling seems to be the favourite, however, even with some attempts of a spin bowl appearing. Field placements have become serious business during games with well researched strategies about each batter coming into play. Cries of “catch it”, “run, run, run” and “how’s that?!” can be heard across the oval. It is interesting to note that throughout the entire unit, not once has there been a comment of “I can’t do this” or “this isn’t a girls sport”.
So what have we learnt from the MacKillop Cricket Ground or MCG as we like to call it? Well, the girls have learnt a number of new skills and they have learnt that they are very good at cricket. Our girls have learnt that they can play any sport regardless of its stereotypical nature and to ignore those who say they ‘can’t’ simply because they are a girl. A ‘hat trick’ of life lessons you might say from the MCG.
Year 9 Pastoral Care Coordinator