Camden Council to help young cricketers flourish

Current and former Ghosts Jodie Hicks, Belinda Vakarewa and Hannah Trethewy have all been signed to WBBL teams.
Current and former Ghosts Jodie Hicks, Belinda Vakarewa and Hannah Trethewy have all been signed to WBBL teams.

An innovative partnership between Camden Council and the Campbelltown Camden District Cricket Club will help a future superstar of cricket pursue her sporting dreams.

The cricket club, home of the Campbelltown Camden Ghosts, asked the council to help one elite young sportswoman earn a Certificate IV qualification in administration while she is hard at work on her cricketing career.

Councillors were unanimous in their support of the program at last night’s council meeting, and praised the council’s willingness to support women’s sport in Macarthur.

Councillor Eva Campbell said she had previously coached a talented female hockey player, who eventually represented Australia in the Olympics, and knew the rigours of professional sport often required athletes to compromise their education.

“I know how hard it was for her to pursue her sport an an elite level and still further her education,” she said.

The council program will allow one female cricketer with the club to achieve her qualification and earn practical employment experience with a traineeship while working around her demanding training and playing schedule.

Ghosts life member Allan Connolly addressed the council and said the club had produced many state and national representatives.

“We have a very strong and successful women’s junior development program and have produced players for the Southern Stars national team and players in the Women’s Big Bash League,” he said.

“These are young women, a lot of them teenagers, and we recognise that their higher education can often be put to one side to support their cricket.

“That’s a significant sacrifice for them.

“This traineeship provides an opportunity to pursue their dreams of becoming a professional sportswoman while receiving significant support to balance their professional cricket and further education.”

Mr Connolly said he was very appreciative of the council’s willingness to consider the program.

Councillor Paul Farrow said he was proud to support a program which created an “opportunity for young women to get job skills while pursuing professional sporting endeavours”.

The successful cricketer will participate in the council’s traineeship program, run by My Gateway, for one year.

They will work within the Sport, Recreation and Sustainability, and Communication and Events teams.

If the first year proves successful, the pilot program will be considered for future years.

The traineeship is estimated to cost $35,000. The council will attempt to cover this with state government grants, however if its bid is unsuccessful the program will be included in the 2018/19 council budget.

The Ghosts are also working to further enhance their women’s development with the launch of the Ghosts Women’s Academy next week.