[Melissa Hale] I find that the women’s comp is really nurturing and supportive, and it’s just beautiful, and it’s empowering.
[Adam Cassidy] The National Cricket Inclusion Championships brings together basically the 250 best cricketers. Men and women across Australia, who have a disability. Having the deaf women’s division this year is the culmination of incredible work that’s been going on by the deaf community in particular and Melissa Hale. So today’s a real celebration but it’s also an acknowledgment that there’s a lot of work to do.
[Melissa Hale] Some of these women are really stepping outside of their comfort zone and they’re thriving and they all know that they’re part of something bigger.
[Chloe] I’ve been playing cricket for about 15 years. I started when I was 13 years old. I think it’s awesome to be able to play in this team. To represent your state, to be able to play with the girls, you’re going to make a lifetime friend. [Hailey] I guess for me it means all supporting each other, all understanding where we’re coming from, working as a team. It doesn’t matter what type of skills we have, we all accept each other for who we are.
[Adam Cassidy] It’s providing a really good social outlet for people all over Australia. We’ve got nearly 27,000 participants now with a disability and the impact of that is really big.
[Jessica] It’s a lot of fun, there’s great friendships, a lot of learning and skill development because a lot of us are new and there’s a couple of them that are role models. We are quite new but with a bit of mentoring and role models in the team, hopefully we’ll see better teams in the future.
[Melissa Hale] My advice to other women with disabilities is to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. And never let anyone tell you that you can’t because there’s always a way and cricket is one of those opportunities. If you want to give cricket a go, please do, come and join us. We would love to have you here.