Cricket is a beloved sport, enjoyed by millions all over the world. But apart from of Fawad Ahmed and Usman Khawaja, how many other young people of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds have the opportunity to play this great game and rise through its ranks to our represent baggy greens abroad. 

According to TRYCricket Project Manager and Coordinating Coach Jazeer Nijamudeen, it all starts with nurturing talent from a young age. 

Over the course of 8 weeks, the Western Eagles Sports Club wrapped up its TRYCricket coaching clinics on 9  April in Truganina. This culminated in a presentation ceremony which delighted the young children with gifts and certificates for their participation. 

The event organised by Western Eagles TRYCricket with the supported of IMAN Weekend School, Wyndham City Council and Islamic Council of Victoria encouraged junior participation in cricket. 

Sharing his experience, Jazeer welcomed parents and children to the inaugural ceremony. 

“This project has been a passion of mine to help our girls and boys,” said Jazeer. 

“I grew up playing backyard cricket with my brothers (and the game has) taught me many skills from self-sacrificing teamwork to developing strategies and leading a team,” said Jazeer.

The cricket field he explains opportunity for young people to make friends with people of diverse backgrounds.

This sentiment was replicated by Western Eagles players and club President Paul, shared this childhood experience of cricket.

When asked by his parents when he would come back home from the game, cricket had taught him to respond that “we won the match”. He explained that the nature of the game taught him to appreciate how to appreciate the success of others.

The program is all part of an effort to encourage more opportunity for young people. The programs were formulated to focus on developing a child’s basic and essential cricket skills. Developing an understanding of the game at a young age is important in order to encourage and coach young talent. Identify these traits at a young age is important as “famous Australian Captain Steve Waugh first played representative cricket in under 10s” encouraged Jazeer. 

“We need to encourage our children to make the most of their potential (and) coach them towards a higher level of cricket” encouraged Jazeer. 

This is important as this helps young people identify their talents and passions at a young age and assist them towards playing at a higher level of cricket.

“Cricket is a sport for all Australians regardless of gender, cultural background, religion or ability,” said Jazeer.

Muslim girls who prefer conservative clothing were easily accommodated in these games and the clubs were made more inclusive by providing vegetarian and halal food options, avoiding the serving of alcohol and gambling and discourages smoking.

Encouraging our children to get involved in sport is an important initiative in order to “helps kids live active and healthy lifestyles away from phone screens, bad habits, obesity and heart disease”, said Jazeer.

Fortunately, for those that missed out on the program, due to popular demand, Coaching Clinics will continue to run on Saturday morning. To learn more about these programs, contact TRYCricket Project Manager and Coordinating Coach Jazeer Nijamudeen for further information.