Cricket helmets and equipment were distributed to the teams who competed at the annual Belt Up Gala Day held at Murdoch Sports Ground on Sunday 13 December.

The event saw more than 160 players with a disability get the opportunity to compete in cricket matches to showcase the integrated cricket pathway and celebrate the spirit of cricket.

This year marks the second of the $1 million, four-year deal which will see thousands of cricket helmets distributed to community cricket clubs across the State to promote the Insurance Commission's ‘Belt Up’ road safety campaign, helping improve safety on and off the pitch.

The event was attended by special guests including the Minister for Disability Services the Hon. Stephen Dawson MLC, Western Australian Cricket Association CEO Christina Matthews and Insurance Commission Secretary Kane Blackman.

Four teams from the Youth Integrated Cricket League, which caters for high school aged players, opened the gala event before 12 teams split into a north and south conference took part in the senior division play off.

The ICL offers an accessible format of cricket for people with disability to join teams and participate. This integration into the club environment ensures the program is sustainable and community focused. The Insurance Commission funds critical independence-enabling equipment for the ICL and its players.

Minister of Disability Services the Hon. Stephen Dawson said;

"It was fantastic to join the gala day event on the weekend and to celebrate inclusion on the cricket pitch and showcase the skills of our Integrated Cricket League players.

"It was incredible to talk to the players and their families about what participation in the ICL has meant to them and how incredibly proud they all are.

"What’s also fantastic is that the ICL, which was established just a few years ago, continues to grow and now boasts a 16-team competition over the Junior and Senior divisions.

"This is a tremendous achievement and is due to the continuing partnership between the Insurance Commission and the WACA through the Belt Up campaign.”

Commission Secretary at the Insurance Commission Kane Blackman said;

“The Insurance Commission sponsors the Integrated Cricket League, through the Belt Up initiative, to improve access and inclusion for people with disability.

“This is particularly important given our critical role of providing care and support to claimants injured in motor vehicle crashes.

“After an injury, our claimants want to be as independent as possible and get back to doing the things they love.

“Sport is a great way to get back into the community and be involved, and through our provision of independence-enabling equipment, more people with disability can do exactly that.”

WACA CEO Christina Matthew said;

“We are delighted to be working with the Insurance Commission to deliver helmets and equipment to players with a disability and help spread the Belt Up message to the wider WA cricket community.

“The Belt Up Gala event is a true testament to the progress we’re making in becoming a more inclusive and diverse sport for all Western Australians and working with the Insurance Commission means we can deliver our great game safely at every level.”


ABOUT BELT UP

Belt up is a road safety awareness campaign to promote wearing seat belts on WA roads to reduce the severity of injury in a crash. The message is simple. Wear a seat belt. Belt up! We don’t want you to become another statistic on our roads.

Secure your seat belt before you start the car. Make sure your passengers secure their seat belts as well. Each year, lives are lost and people are injured on WA roads from not wearing a seat belt. The Insurance Commission has supported and funded the Belt up campaign since 1997.