The inaugural VTCA Women's Division proudly sponsored by the Deer Park Club commenced on Sunday with a round robin format with the three competing clubs. The initial intake of ladies teams involving three clubs who have committed to the concept from the outset - St. Francis De Sales, Sydenham Hillside and Westmedows.
The program at Westmeadows has gone right off with less than a handful of ladies attending the first training session continually increasing to the point when the spring racing carnival concludes, they will field two sides. "The interest from local ladies and those around the club has been phenomenal. We are thrilled with the response and welcome the ladies to our family club", said Westmeadows President, Jeff Hubbard.
Round one consisted of Westmeadows playing Sydenham Hillside at 12.00pm immediately followed by Westmeadows taking on St. Francis De Sales. The Sydenham Hillside girls got the better of the hosts in the first ladies match under the VTCA banner in around 60 years. The second game had St. Francis De Sales taking the honours.
Scores in both games were;
Westmeadows 7/70 def by Sydenham Hillside 5/99
Westmeadows 2/103 def by St. Francis De Sales 2/119
The results of the games were secondary as the girls familarised themselves with in most cases their first ever game of cricket. "Just watching some of the ladies putting on batting pads and helmets for the first time was quite amusing - they jumped right in and had a real go. The enthusiasm displayed by all teams was fantastic - the girls from both competing teams were clapping each others achievements, there was a decent crowd as well who were right inthe moment and cheering and clapping every run and wicket, it was just so exciting to watch and be a part of", Hubbard added.
Sydenham Hillside Secretary Bernard Morrow was also full of praise for the concept and thanked the VTCA for driving ahead with the women's division even after some clubs who had initially committed to participating but pulled out late.
"Huge thank you to the VTCA for going ahead with this division , we are thrilled to be part of the initial intake of teams putting this concept together", Morrow said.
"Hearty congratulations also to Jeff and his Committee at Westmeadows on hosting the first round - a thoroughly enjoyable day from all at SHCC who were in attendance, especially our ladies who had a ball finally being able to play for their club. Especially well done to Sonja and her ladies!
Personally, it was very rewarding to see this competition kick-off, and, I was very proud to see so many of our club's members and supporters be there, along with all of those from Westmeadows and St Francis in attendance. There was definitely smiles all round and the crowd made for a fantastic environment", said Morrow.
From an association perspective the Board of Management could not be happier and any more proud of where this has driven in such a short time. The people at all three clubs have been so diligent and meticulous in their preparation of getting to the first hurdle of playing our first ever game.
Each had small numbers when they first hit the training track but each training session, each of the clubs have increased their numbers and the enthusiasm has been infectious. I am really proud we have been able to get the idea up and running in just six short months with the wonderful support of Westmeadows, St. Francis and Sydenham Hillside. Sensational work by these clubs and a credit to them for what they have achieved. We are extremely confident that other clubs will look to the success of this concept and will want to get involved. We see this growing enormously in the future.
Well done to Jeff and his crew at Westmeadows for putting on a BBQ and refreshments throughout the day to keep the players and crowd fed and lubricated. I urge all VTCA Clubs to get down on a Sunday, particularly when the double headers come back in after the races, and see what we are all talking about. Strong clubs are built on the involvement of families and their is no better way to get all the family involved than to bring your mum, sister or even grandma down to a game and get them involved, they will be pleasantly surprised with how much fun than can be had.
As Sydenham Hillside Secretary, Bernard Morrow stated during the week, "Build it and they will come", probably a quote we have borrowed from Kevin Costner but it could not be more appropriate.
Enjoy your seasion ladies.