The biggest school league in Australia will start on Friday after the formation of the Lower North Zone Strikers Girls School Cricket League.
The State Secondary School Sport Association Lower North Zone extended an invitation to schools in the Mid North to nominate for a T12 competition day this Friday, November 24.
Working alongside SAPSASA, the invitation was open to both primary and high schools in the region for girls in Years 6 to 10.
A total of 33 school teams were nominated for the competition which will include teams from the Yorke Peninsula, Jamestown and Port Pirie.
Lower North Zone convenor Katie Liebelt said the competition would provide a pathway for girls to follow in the footsteps of some of the regions trailblazers in women’s cricket.
“This is a fantastic initiative and in our inaugural year, will see nearly 300 local schoolgirls experience cricket at school and have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of elite local female cricketers Shelley Nitschke, Lauren Ebsary, Scorpions captain Tegan McPharlin and current Clare High School student Ellie Falconer, who has recently received a 2017 SA Scorpion and Strikers contract.
“It will also provide a pathway into the successful Mid North Strikers Girls League run by Scott Smith.”
Mid North Junior Cricket president Scott Smith said the creation of the school-based competition further added to the opportunities for young girls to play cricket.
“It’s been incredible to see how well Katie and her colleagues have been in establishing such a substantial tournament,” he said.
“From our Mid North Strikers Girls League we knew there were plenty of girls who were keen on their cricket, but to be honest, this is an outstanding effort. We’re very proud of the achievements of women’s cricketers from the Mid North.
“I’m sure with all the emphasis on women’s cricket in the region it provides the best chance for more girls find their way through the pathway to the WBBL and beyond.”
Games will be spread across six ovals with Years 6/7 playing games at Clare High and Clare Oval, Year 8 at Saddleworth Oval, Year 9 at Balaklava Oval, Year 10 at Kapunda Oval and students with disabilities at Mintaro.
The day will run from 10am to 2pm with each team of eight playing three games each.
As part of the program, two training sessions will also be held with the Mid North or Barossa Strikers Girls Leagues, which will provide a pathway the girls into playing competitively.
The competition will run alongside the Mid North Strikers Girls League which will commence next month with carnival days set to take place in Jamestown and Clare.