27th May, 2021 — Protective factors
Supporting junior members on and off the pitch
For locals, it’s hard to imagine Blackburn without the Blackburn Cricket Club.
Dating back to the 1880s, Blackburn Cricket Club has been around nearly as long as Blackburn itself. It’s a club that has transformed with the local community, and grown to become one of Victoria’s largest local cricket destinations.
While the club started with just senior teams, today it’s the juniors that dominate the score sheets. Blackburn’s 18 junior teams and specialist development programs for youngsters keep junior coaches busy and offer boys and girls the opportunity to develop no matter their skill-level or goals.
It’s all part of Blackburn’s determination to support the positive growth of juniors, on and off the pitch.
“Our team of volunteers thrive on seeing the kids enjoying playing cricket in an environment which will create lasting memories,” explains Secretary Jo-Anne Bowler.
Blackburn Cricket club is doing it for the kids
According to Jo-Anne, it’s reassuring for parents to join a club that’s committed to Good Sports and supporting junior members.
“Everything the club does is for the benefit of our players in the hope that they will understand what is expected of them and become the next generation of senior players, committee members and volunteers.”
As part of the program, Blackburn have implemented healthier choices for junior players at club events and moved away from any alcohol-based fundraising. It has also put in place several club policies around spectator behaviour and alcohol management. These are reviewed and published every 12 months.
These small changes are having a big impact. The club is now recognised in the community for its commitment to role-modelling healthier choices – a change that has led more players and volunteers to the club.
Jo-Anne has a lot to be pleased with as the Secretary of a long-running and successful club like Blackburn, but if you ask her what she’s most proud of, it’s the stuff off-field that counts.
“The way the players look after each other is what makes me proud.”
It’s this spirit, connectedness and commitment to the community that has kept Blackburn afloat for over 100 years. It’s these same qualities that will see Blackburn thrive for another 100 to come.