Guide to Inclusion - Step 1

Look Inwards: Educate and Create a Welcoming Environment

Welcoming and Inclusive Facility

Audit your facilities and venues to create more welcoming and accessible environments.

A checklist includes:

  • Are club facilities accessible? (e.g. Wheelchair accessible?)
  • Is signage clear?
  • Are facilities clean? (e.g. Toilets, kitchen, general areas, carpark)
  • Are there separate toilets for girls and women?
  • Are there insensitive posters on the walls?
  • Are there inclusive posters on the walls?
  • Are your inclusion and anti-discrimination policies displayed?
  • Local club advertisements
  • On-screen content pre/during/post game
  • Commentating standards - are these encouraging inclusive language?
  • Facebook/Twitter official accounts

Safe-spaces Resources:
Women Win - Safe Spaces
Australian Sports Commission - Sporting clubs guide to a safe workplace (PDF)

Welcoming and Inclusive People

Member Protection Officer (MPO) / Member Protection Information Officer (MPIO)

Depending on the size of your club, you could consider appointing a designated Member Protection Officer to be the central contact for any concerns or information about harassment, sexual abuse and/or inappropriate behaviour.

A Member Protection Officer would ensure your club handles complaints in an appropriate and consistent manner. They do not investigate complaints but help the person with the concern to deal with what has happened and that procedure is followed.

Appointing someone in the role who is approachable, knowledgeable, accessible and able to maintain confidentiality, ensures people in your club have someone supportive to go to with their concerns and to access information from.

ASC Resource: Australian Sports Commission - MPIO Education
MPIO Workshops: Play by the Rules - MPIO Information

Welcoming Officer

The role of the Welcoming Officer(s) or equivalent is to make new and potential members, volunteers, and their networks feel welcome at the club and to support them to integrate into the team environment. This will be achieved through induction, events, formal introductions, and the provision of club related information.

The Welcoming Officer is a key point of contact for parents and if a member ceases their involvement with the club without explanation, a Welcoming Officer can make contact to establish the reason.

Resource: Club Help - Welcoming Helpful Resources

Buddy System

Under this system, an established and/or confident participant is assigned to befriend and nurture the new participant(s). There are many variants to the system, including buddies of same age, gender, different age (senior and junior participants), same/different communities, same/different geographies.

Education - Build Champions for Inclusion and Diversity

It is important that all club members and volunteers lead by example in demonstrating understanding of diversity and inclusion through model behaviour.

To support this, ensure all club, centre and/or program volunteers, staff and players are familiar with this guide and have undertaken and passed the 'A Sport For All' online assessment.

Diversity and Inclusion Competence tips include:

Be sensitive to diversity - Telling new members to 'harden up' on cultural or gender issues will create an unwelcoming environment. Show sensitivity to privacy, customs and how gamesmanship translates across communities.
Seek advice - Constantly refer to community leaders for advice and information.
Get involved - Attend festivals and events, celebrate days, i.e. international Women's Day, NAIDOC Week, Refugee Week, International Day of People with a Disability, Mardi Gras, Spring Out.
Avoid jargon - Avoid technical terms, slang, acronyms, and abbreviations as they make communication more difficult and create barriers.
Get serious - Police all forms of discrimination, harassment, bullying, derogatory humour and accents. "Just joking" and "Boys will be boys" are not an acceptable defence.
Food - Food remains one of society's greatest success stories in engaging people of diverse cultures.


Moorabbin Cricket Club

In 2008, Moorabbin Cricket Club, 16km south of the Melbourne CBD, set up a small cricket program for some individuals with All Abilities. The first All Abilities cricket training session had more coaches than players. The second session, a few weeks later, wasn't much better. By the time of the first State Carnival, it could only manage to field seven (7) players in the 'Ten Over Tonk'.

Leading into the second season, to the club's surprise, numbers quickly swelled to about 15 players. It was obvious that word had spread that the Moorabbin Cricket Club was doing well as more players started to turn up and join the program. Leading into its sixth season, the club anticipates over 50 players being a part of the all abilities program.

"We've been asked many times, "what is the key to your program's success?" The answer is very simple: establish a program that genuinely focuses on inclusive practices and attitudes and is supported by all levels of the club."
- Steve Lefebvre, Moorabbin CC, All Abilities Coordinator

Case Study Tips:

  1. Make your All Abilities sports program integrated in the framework of the club and not a separate, standalone program.
  2. Establish an All Abilities subcommittee and encourage players' parents to take on specific roles and areas of responsibility, i.e. Secretary, Treasurer, sponsorship, registration, communications (website, newsletters etc.). An All-Abilities player representative must also feature on the subcommittee.
  3. Offer multiple formats for varied levels of ability, e.g. Super League and Ten Over Tonk. Super League caters for higher functioning players and focuses on competition whilst Ten Over Tonk is designed for less able bodied players, with the focus on participation.
  4. Seek out local council or Disability Services about disability-orientated training courses (e.g. specialised communications strategies, Autism awareness) and offer these to coaches and program assistants to equip them with the necessary skills to manage the program.
  5. Work with your local council or state/territory cricket association to identify special schools (junior and senior) in your area to recruit program participants.
  6. Sponsorship is critical to the success and sustainability of an All Abilities program. Local Banks and businesses are often a good source of funding and they are very supportive of community sports programs.
  7. Run occasional Super League or high functioning training sessions alongside your mainstream senior training sessions. This will help integrate All Abilities players with mainstream cricketers with the aim to them playing in the club's senior teams.
  8. All Abilities players should be invited to attend all club social functions as this is one of the key indicators of a truly integrated and successful All Abilities program.

Further information
All Abilities Cricket at Moorabbin Cricket Club


Female Administrators Rebuilding Barron River Cricket Club

Two years ago Barron River Cricket Club faced extinction with more than $17,000 in debt.

With its 21-year history at stake, president Narelle Emery set about rebuilding the club.

Narelle has helped the club gain vital grants to lead the club out of debt, overseeing all aspects of the rebuild, from installing a new pitch to shoring up the club's finances and recruiting volunteers.

The rebuild has been in part due to the female focus of the club. The club had a female secretary and treasurer during the rebuild, and has been involved in T20 and Under 14 competitions dedicated to girls.

There are plans afoot to introduce more female participation opportunities, beginning next season.

The rebuild of Barron River Cricket Club shows the power what can be achieved with strong leadership, the tireless support of volunteers and creative sourcing of funding.

Case Study Tips:

  1. Have a well-balanced committee who can bounce off one another and make the right decisions for the club.
  2. Listen to your members, their needs, their opinions, their suggestions.
  3. Utilise the resources available to your club. Look inside your club's walls (members, parents, players) before looking externally.
  4. Search widely and secure all sponsorship opportunities, whether they are big, small or in-kind.
  5. Have a long term vision for the club that includes plans for the ground, facilities and structure of administration.
  6. Define clear roles within the club. Give each role set responsibilities.
  7. Support your members, whether it be players, volunteers, or members in a significant role, always support their role and never knock them for trying.
  8. Foster enjoyment. If everyone within the club enjoys what they are doing then this will set a great future for your club.


Action Indoor Sports Salisbury

Action Indoor Sports Salisbury in South Australia runs a competition for adults with intellectual disabilities alongside its "mainstream" programs.

The program is supported by SACA and Inclusive Sports SA but is maintained by the centre. Four teams compete in two seasons per year. Each season culminates in finals.

Community Cricket Ambassador Daniel McKay has taken on the programming to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities have access to sporting opportunities in his local community, offering the program at a reduced rate and ensuring an inclusive environment for participants.

Case Study Tips:

  1. Working in partnership is vital:
    1. Action Indoor Sports Salisbury concentrates on running a quality indoor cricket experience.
    2. Inclusive Sports SA assisted with providing a "Coordinator" to support the competition i.e. player payments, player personal details, communication etc.
    3. The SACA coordinates the successful 'skill sessions'.
  2. Run the competition with limited modifications to maintain the integrity of the sport, but encourage maximum participation.
  3. Coordinate competition alongside 'regular' competitions to demonstrate the available pathway.


Sunshine Heights Cricket Club

The Sunshine Heights Cricket Club (SHCC) was formed in 1954 by the predominantly Anglo community that resided in the City of Sunshine at the time. The club competed against other local teams in what was the Sunshine Cricket Association. The mid 60s through to the 70s saw an influx of Europeans immigrating to the area.

The SHCC committee undertook to embrace these new migrants and welcomed them into the club. This was a positive step as it highlighted to everyone that the SHCC was an all-inclusive club. The club has successfully integrated later immigrating groups including South Asian, Vietnamese and African.

Best Practice Tips:

  • Ensure sincere club welcomes through formal Welcoming Officer, new player pack and induction program.
  • Nurture new members - Once in the team use the Buddy system to assist integration. Make club cap presentation into a major ceremony involving coach and captain.
  • Deal positively with barriers including applying for grants for groups with special requirements.
  • Celebrate achievements of all club members.
  • Provide leadership opportunities for all groups including captain/vice captain, committee roles and event management.
  • Ask, include, share, announce - bring new members into decision making process.
  • Work closely with Local Council including appointing a council liaison officer with regular tabled correspondence. Invite Local Council reps to be involved in events.
  • Establish close school relationships - visit schools, assist with clinics, build relationships with key influencers including PE teachers, principals and P&C.
  • Maintain a positive culture - reinforce this regularly from initial induction to monthly meetings, events and games.

Further Information
Club Assist - Diversity and Inclusion
Australian Sports Commission - Sunshine Heights Cricket Club