Introduced in 2013, the scholarships aim to facilitate the development of young talented female cricketers in three categories – city, country and Indigenous.The female scholarships are made possible through the generous ongoing donations of lifelong cricket fan Kay Leverington, whose support ensures female cricketers receive the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

WACA CEO Christina Matthews, who was on hand to present the recipients with their scholarships on Friday night, believes the program provides essential support to young female cricketers.

“There are a lot of costs involved in playing cricket at a professional level and that burden often fall on the parents,” Matthews said.

“The scholarships are designed to take the pressure off parents so their child can participate freely without worrying about what it is costing their family.

“The opportunities which are offered to female cricketers has come a long way and it’s wonderful to see the increased participation from the younger girls across the programs and pathways that are now available.”

Joint-Scholar Rebecca West is a talented right-hand bat and off-spin bowler from Melville Cricket Club. West was selected as the Perth Scorchers’ Under-18 Rookie during WBBL|02, which allowed her to train as a fully integrated member of the squad. Following a strong performance in the 2016 Under-18 National Championships, Rebecca has been invited to attend the National under-18 talent camp in October this year.

Right-arm medium fast bowler Ashlee King, named joint-Scholar with West, was selected in the Female Academy Squad last season and will continue her integration into the Alcohol.Think Again Western Fury program in 2017-18. The 16-year-old gave a strong performance in the Under-18s National Carnival in 2016-17, where she took on the role as vice-captain and took 12 wickets, including a 5-wicket haul against Queensland. 

Port Hedland Country Scholar Zoe Britcliffe was marked as a young player to watch following her strong performances in the Pilbara’s male cricket program. The right-arm medium fast bowler and hard-hitting batter was part of the Port Hedland Cricket Association’s premiership winning team (Wanderers Cricket Club).

17-year-old Indigenous Scholar Rikki Gartlett plays junior cricket at Balladong Cricket Academy in Northam, making the long journey to Perth to play club cricket for University. The athletic all-rounder impressed in the NICC in Alice Springs, demonstrating a high level of skill and a great attitude towards the game.

Recipients are entitled to claim expenses up to $5,000 for equipment, travel, clothing, medicine and other athlete-related costs.