Cricket is one of the most popular sports in Australia at international, domestic and local levels. It has been played in Australia for over 210 years and is often referred to as the country’s national sport, due to its equal popularity in all parts of the country.
Growing up playing cricket in the backyard or in the street with the neighbourhood kids is an Aussie tradition and often where the love for the game is born for many players. If your child is one of those kids who can’t get enough of cricket, then getting them involved in a local club is a great way for them to further develop their skills and passion for the game.
Cricket Australia is the national governing body for the game in Australia. They have developed two programs for children as young as five years, to learn the skills and rules of cricket before entering into competition level.
The first program, MILO in2CRICKET, is a fun, safe, social and active program for girls and boys aged 5 to 8. It teaches kids of all abilities the basic skills of cricket. It helps kids to develop fundamental motor skills which will set them up for a lifelong involvement in physical activity, as well as important social skills including teamwork and being a good sport. The program runs for 8 to 12 weeks with each session lasting up to 60 minutes.
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MILO in2CRICKET prepares your child for the next step, MILO T20BLAST, which is designed to give kids their first experience of playing games of cricket in a fun and social setting. It is a safe, exciting program for boys and girls aged from 7 to 12 years, where they play a modified version of the game, allowing all players the chance to bat, bowl and field. This program prepares children for Junior Club Cricket, where they can play in a team for their local club.
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If you live in Melbourne and are looking to get your child involved in a local team, below we have provided a list of some of the best cricket clubs for kids in Melbourne.
Port Melbourne Cricket Club
Port Melbourne Cricket Club was established in 1874 and was one of the original teams in Melbourne’s District Cricket competition. Port Melbourne, also known as the ‘Borough’s’, enjoys an active participation from its junior teams, with numbers continuing to grow each year.
The club offers both the MILO in2CRICKET and MILO T20BLAST programs for players aged 4 to 12, to prepare them for participation in the junior teams, which range from Under 12 through Under 16.
All teams train at the club grounds at North Port Oval (Corner of Williamstown Rd and Ingles St) on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (depending on the team and coaches), and compete against teams affiliated with the South East Cricket Association.
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Balwyn Cricket Club
The Balwyn Cricket Club was established in 1921 and has an ongoing strong commitment to junior cricket. The club has excellent facilities and coaching for juniors, with the safety of the kids being of utmost importance. This includes the rule that all Under 10 and Under 12 players must wear a helmet whilst batting – either playing or training.
They offer the MILO T20BLAST program for kids aged between 7 to 12 years, as well as fielding teams in Under 10, Under 12, Under 14 and Under 16.
All junior teams train at Gordon Barnard Reserve on Belmore Road in Balwyn North, and play in the Eastern Cricket Association Competition, which is the largest junior cricket competition in Australia.
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Hampton Cricket Club
The Hampton Cricket Club shares its birth date with Australia’s most celebrated cricketer, Sir Donald Bradman – the 27th of August, 1908. They have a thriving junior community with emphasis on safety, fun and equal opportunities for all players.
The club offers both the MILO in2CRICKET and MILO T20BLAST programs for kids aged between 5 and 10 years, and is strongly recommended as a pathway for kids to get into junior club cricket. Competitive teams are fielded in four age groups – Under 12, 14, 16 and 18, with an all-girls team in Under 13 that play in the All Girls Cricket Competition.
Hampton Cricket Club is affiliated with the South East Cricket Association and all training is held at Boss James Reserve on David St in Hampton.
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Camberwell Magpies Cricket Club
The Camberwell Magpies Cricket Club was created on Sunday the 4th of February, 1996, by the merging of the Collingwood Cricket Club (founded September 1905), and the Camberwell Cricket Club (founded February 1864).
The Club’s commitment to the development of young cricketers is driven by their broad principle of developing skills and the love for the game, first and foremost. They place importance on fair play and fun, and not on a win-at-all-costs basis.
They offer the MILO in2CRICKET and MILO T20BLAST programs for kids aged between 5 and 12 years, as well as fielding teams from Under 10 through to Under 18.
The Club’s home ground is located at Camberwell Sports Ground in Camberwell, and teams play in the Eastern Cricket Association Competition.
Image Credit: cricket.com.au