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Opinion

Cricket NSW launches first elite coaching apprenticeship for women

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Expert
13th January, 2021
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For former NSW Breakers and Sydney Thunder player Hannah Trethewy, her first opportunity to coach came when playing for her local club, Campbelltown Camden District Cricket Club (more affectionately known as Ghosts Cricket).

“I was still at school and wicketkeeping when my local member at the time Chris Patterson, reached out to me,” said Trethewy.

“His son played at the same club that I did and was twelve years old. Chris wanted to know whether I was interested in doing some work with his son.

“At that point I didn’t have any coaching qualifications. It was just because I played for my local club and was around the Cricket NSW environment.”

Trethewy loved it and it was the first time she ever considered coaching as a path. While she does credit Tom, the cricketer she was working with, what struck Trethewy the most was how much she enjoyed helping others and make them better cricketers.

“To help someone be the best person they can be and the best cricketer that they can be is something that I find really motivating,” said Trethewy.

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From coaching Tom, Trethewy was given other opportunities through the pathways system and has recently been given another opportunity through Cricket NSW, supported by Cricket Australia.

Trethewy is one of three women selected to participate in Cricket NSW’s first elite coaching apprenticeship program specifically designed by women.

The focus of the program is to ensure that women are given the opportunity to develop coaching credentials, alongside the rapid expansion of the women’s game.

Joining Trethewy is recently retired NSW Breaker and Sydney Sixers player Sarah Aley and current NSW Breaker and Sydney Sixers player Lisa Griffith.

Trethewy is looking forward to working alongside both Aley and Griffith who are former teammates of hers, but she is also focused on ensuring that internships like this give more women the opportunity to consider coaching as a career path, but also to ensure that women are broadening their thinking to coach not just women, but men too.

“We can be exposed to the men’s program too and coaching men,” said Trethewy.

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“When I first started running coaching courses, I had a male cricketer participate. He used to captain the Ghosts first grade team and I remember when he first walked in thinking that I didn’t have much to offer.

“At the end of the course he came up to me and told me about how much he had learnt and how his thinking around coaching younger cricketers changed.

“At that moment I realised that he may have had so much experience and he took the time out to thank me, his female instructor. I am not limited and nor is any woman limited to just coaching in the women’s space. We can also coach in the men’s space too.”

Another woman very passionate about the introduction of this program is trailblazer Leah Poulton who has recently been appointed as Head of Female Cricket at Cricket NSW. Poulton is a former Australian and NSW Breakers players and has been an integral part of the Cricket Australia High Performance Female Program, coaching as part of the set-ups for both the Australian women’s team and Melbourne Stars WBBL team.

“I’ve sat on a number of panels for coaching roles and what has always struck me is how few female applicants we get and it has always baffled me because I know how many talented female coaches we have in our game,” said Poulton.

“When I have called people and asked why they didn’t apply, there were always a number of reasons which kept coming down to confidence.

“It isn’t just about accreditation, it is about giving people the opportunity to develop confidence and that is a big rationale for this program.”

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For Poulton, this program also gives Cricket NSW the opportunity to create role models and make female coaches visible. You can’t be what you can’t see and for Poulton that visibility is crucial.

“We want to create great female role models and I think we have it in Hannah, Lisa and Sarah,” said Poulton.

Cricket Australia is an organisation which has demonstrated its commitment to the women’s game over the last couple of years.

From Claire Polosak, who just last week, became the first female umpire to officiate a men’s Test match, to the women involved in the administration of the game at a national and a state level like Mel Jones and Alex Blackwell, to the enormous success of the WBBL and the Australian women’s team, cricket continues to demonstrate leadership in this space.

For Trethewy, this internship is just another opportunity for Cricket Australia and the various states to show leadership.

“Cricket NSW have recognised the work done in the umpiring space and in the women’s game, but they have also recognised that there is a place for female coaches,” said Trethewy.

“I really hope it leads the way for other states and that seeing more women coaching both men and women becomes the norm.”

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