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Cricket Victoria releases findings on player participation in All Abilities Cricket
Cricket Victoria has released an evaluation undertaken on the “Health and Social Impact of Participation in Cricket for People with Intellectual Disabilities”, following the implementation of the Melbourne All Abilities Cricket Association (MAACA) as Cricket Victoria’s 77th association in 2015.
Cricket Victoria is committed to ensuring cricket remains a sport for all Victorians. Cricket Victoria and MACCA provide opportunities for people with an intellectual disability to play in a regular, structured and organised cricket competition, moving from sampling to sustainability.
MAACA commenced its fourth season of cricket in 2018 and has grown from five clubs in the first year to 13 clubs in the 2018/2019 season. The Association facilitates two divisions that provide opportunities for participation based on levels of functionality. Higher ability players participate in Division 1 that generally replicates the format of mainstream cricket, while players with more complex needs can participate in Division 2, a competitive format that offers greater levels of flexibility in relation to equipment, number of players and rules.
In March 2019, Cricket Victoria commissioned researchers from Monash University’s Faculty of Education to undertake an evaluation of the work of MAACA.
The evaluation responded to three key research questions:
• What are the experiences of people with disabilities and their families of participating in MAACA?
• How have clubs facilitated these experiences?
• How do they anticipate the Association will develop in the future?
Among some of the key findings, the evaluation found that the majority of players considered that participating in All Abilities cricket had provided them with numerous benefits that included physical, mental and social wellbeing, increased self-confidence and self-esteem. Surveys also found that cricket facilitated the development of meaningful social connections for players. Interviewees also suggested that cricket afforded players a space where they could be independent and engage in social interactions.
Cricket Victoria Head of Participation, Community Development and Diversity, Emma Staples advised “This research provides critical feedback from clubs and communities around the impact MAACA has on people with intellectual disabilities and how we can better support our community and clubs in our commitment to ensuring cricket is a sport for all.”
Click here to read the full evaluation.
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