Facilities fail for cricket’s females across WA

Trevor Paddenburg | PerthNow

March 18, 2018 12:00AM

JUST one in five cricket ovals in WA is “female friendly”, sparking a call for infrastructure upgrades as the sport’s popularity with young women soars.

The findings are in the first Statewide audit of facilities carried out by the Western Australian Cricket Association, which also found another 245 cricket ovals are needed across WA to meet demand in the next decade.

Auditors inspected 538 sites around WA, including 669 ovals, 448 practice facilities and 297 change facilities. They found just 21 per cent of change rooms were female friendly, with lockable shower cubicles or private spaces.

WACA chief executive Christina Matthews admitted “one of the biggest challenges” facing facilities in WA was the quality of change rooms.

She said women didn’t need more privacy out of “modesty or humility” but from a practical point of view.

“Women get periods. You need a private space or cubicle for changing and, if there are shower facilities, you want a lockable shower rather than an open one,” she said.

“Cricket is focused on being the leading sport for women and girls, but to do this we must have appropriate facilities available. It’s not necessarily the way it should be.”

It comes after a similar audit of footy grounds by the WA Football Commission found fewer than one in eight WA grounds was female friendly, with “lockable showers making them suitable for female use”.

Ms Mathews said the WACA would now meet with schools, local governments and the State Government to discuss the findings and lobby for more ovals and better facilities.

Quinns Rocks Junior Cricket Club registrar Serena Spadaro said of the club’s female cricketers: “They don’t necessarily have change room facilities or showers. They’re just public toilets, but they suffice because the girls will come dressed for the game.

“I’d say the main issue is whether there’s any kind of sanitary waste provisions available. Often there isn’t.”