The Western Australian Cricket Association, in partnership with Inclusion Solutions, has won the Innovation in Practice award at the 2018 Sport and Recreation Industry Awards on 8 August at Optus Stadium.

In 2017, the WACA and Inclusion Solutions, Western Australia’s peak inclusion body, came together to deliver an unparalleled level of support to cricket clubs, their staff and players across the state.

In a two-year partnership, that forms a key part of a broader Club Development Framework for Cricket in Western Australia, the WACA aims to provide club administrators and staff with the tools and expertise needed to strengthen knowledge, operations and skills to allow clubs to better connect with their communities.

“Our partnership with Inclusions Solutions provides the WACA with a great platform to promote a holistic approach to how we support Western Australian community cricket clubs and associations to embrace, connect with, and reflect their local communities” Said Roy McNamara-Smith, Manager of Clubs, Competitions, and Diversity at the WACA.

“It’s great to have this innovative collaboration recognised through the WA Sport and Recreation Industry Awards as it reflects the shift in mindset currently happening across community sport, driving behaviour change in creating safe, inclusive and diverse environments for all participants and volunteers”  

The partnership, a first for sport in WA, will look to set the benchmark for inclusion, supporting clubs and volunteers to increase belonging and engagement with cricket throughout the community, whilst decreasing social isolation.

Core aims of the partnership include connecting WACA staff with development opportunities, promotion and advocacy of the benefits of inclusivity and diversity with sporting communities, a high level of advice, support and mentoring to the WACA and community cricket clubs and provision of specialised support and training.

The WACA was also nominated for ‘Community Event of the Year Award’ for the planning and implementation of the Women’s Big Bash League Family Fun Days at Lilac Hill, events that saw a carnival atmosphere help to broaden the awareness of women’s cricket and participation pathways.