- $1 million for community cricket via the 'Belt up' road safety campaign
- More than 2,000 helmets to protect community players
- Integrated cricket league for people with disability
Thousands of cricket helmets will be distributed free to community cricket clubs across Western Australia, as part of a new sponsorship partnership between the McGowan Government, the Insurance Commission, and the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA).
The $1 million, four-year deal will promote the insurer's 'Belt up' road safety campaign, helping improve safety on and off the pitch. The announcement follows the recent mandatory cricket helmet ruling that applies to community cricketers across Australia.
In addition to the Belt up Helmets Program, the agreement supports the Belt up Country Cup, Belt up CricketWest Cup and a two-day Belt up Round for Premier Cricket.
Participation among people with disability will be boosted by funding for independence-enabling equipment - including visual aids, different-sized balls and customised bats - for the inclusive Belt up Integrated Cricket League, which plays a modified format game.
Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt:
"Reducing head trauma on the cricket field is a similar aim to the Belt up campaign's objective to lessen the severity of injury in a crash by wearing a seatbelt.
"People injured on WA roads cost the Insurance Commission around half a billion dollars last year. The average lifetime care cost for someone with a brain injury is $4 million.
"Not belting up greatly increases the likelihood of being killed or receiving a head injury in a crash, so it is appropriate to commit some resources to targeting that behaviour.
"As a summer sport, the cricket sponsorship helps give Belt up prominence throughout the year. Cricket also has strong participation across regional WA, which is important to the Insurance Commission given the high vehicle accident rates in country areas.
"I congratulate the Insurance Commission and WACA on their new partnership, which will help keep community cricketers safer on and off the pitch."
Comments attributed to WACA Chief Executive Christina Matthews:
"We are delighted to be working with the Insurance Commission and the McGowan Government to communicate its Belt up campaign, which has been a key supporter of grass roots sport in WA for so long.
"Over 200,000 people play cricket across the State and working with the Insurance Commission will help make it safer at every level of the game.
"We look forward to engaging the cricket community on the Belt up message."
Comments attributed to WACA Head Coach Adam Voges:
"Top bowlers can bowl well in excess of the highest speed limit on WA roads, so you can imagine the forces involved. Unfortunately, on the rare occasion, players can get hit in the head and suffer concussions but the improved helmet standard is reducing those risks.
"It will be great to put thousands of the latest helmets into the hands of community cricketers via the Belt up Helmets Program."
Treasurer's office - 6552 5900