Cross-Code Showcase Set For ICL Final
31 March 2017  

The WACA will this Sunday use the Integrated Cricket League grand final to host an array of sports to showcase the opportunities available to people with disability.

Representatives from football and soccer will join with cricket to provide demonstrations of the programs available in those codes to people with a disability.

Joondalup Kinross CC will also be on-hand to demonstrate junior cricket skills for younger people with a disability.

The demonstrations will take place on the WACA Ground from 11am, before the centrepiece of the day – the Integrated Cricket League grand final between Coolbinia-West Perth Blue and Kardinya Lakes Blue – begins at 1pm.

The day celebrates the culmination of the first full-season of the Integrated Cricket League – an initiative focused on promoting and fostering mental wellbeing and social inclusion in people with a disability by integrating players in clubs alongside counterparts without a disability.

The competition ran for six rounds, with matches every three weeks split in blocks either side of Christmas, and was a glowing success, having been forced to expand to six teams after a turnout of 52 players for Round 1.

WACA Multicultural and Disability Programs Coordinator Brad Denham said Sunday would be an opportunity to celebrate the hard work of everyone involved in the ICL.

"The success of the ICL was only a reality due to the fantastic work by clubs, volunteers and players to get it to this point,” Denham said.

‘The ICL ensures that senior club cricket is accessible for people with an intellectual disability, regardless of their experience or skill level.

"Players are registered members of their clubs and attend trainings and functions with all the other club members, so it ensures that not only do players get the opportunity to get out on the field and play, but make friendships off the field and gives them a sense of belonging to a team and club.

"The clubs also get a boost out of it, because there’s fresh faces and huge enthusiasm coming into their setup who are extremely proud to wear their club shirt.”

Denham said there was an environment of active collaboration between sporting codes to ensure people with a disability were provided with the best possible opportunities and that Sunday’s showcase of sports was a reflection of that.

"The WA Amateur Football League and Football West both have their own similar leagues which have been running for a number of seasons now and, without their support, the cricket program wouldn’t have been such a success in Year 1,” he said.

"Everyone involved understands that we aren’t in competition and that by working together we can have a much greater influence on the clubs and volunteers and, most importantly, provide year-round opportunities for people to play the sports they love.

"That united philosophy isn’t always evident at all levels of the major sports, so it’s great we are all able to help each other to provide community programs that improve the quality of life for so many people.

"The players have spent their summers watching the Warriors, the Aussies and the Scorchers running around on this ground, so for them to be able to follow in their heroes’ footsteps and play on this hallowed turf is a dream come true.”