8 December 2023

Top regional women’s cricketers benefitting from greater access to premier competition

North West NSW’s top female cricketers are relishing the chance to compete in Sydney’s premier cricket competition thanks to the support of local sponsors, including Whitehaven Coal.

Whitehaven became a silver sponsor of the Greater Hunter Coast Premier Cricket Club this year, contributing towards subsidising player registration fees and making access to the NSW Women’s premier cricket competition affordable for regional players. The club’s corporate sponsorships also contribute to equipment purchases, playing and training kits, along with assisting with ground hire and wicket curation expenses. Whitehaven is proud to support the club and create opportunities for local people in our region.

Leg spin bowler, Xanthe Hewitt, is one of the local representatives who was selected in the Greater Hunter Coast team earlier this year.

When asked what inspired her to try out for the team, she said, “I really wanted to play with the Greater Hunter Coast Premier League team as it is an all-girls team playing in the Sydney competition, which is the top level, and is an amazing experience.”

“It’s exciting to be a part of this new club particularly because they are giving girls from my area, as well as the Hunter, a chance to play in this top-level competition.”

Living on a farm 30km from Gunnedah and 55km from Tamworth, the lack of women’s cricket opportunities meant that when she started playing cricket at age 10, Xanthe predominately played with boys and men.

“As a female cricketer, it can be difficult particularly out in country and regional areas because if you want to play a game of cricket, you can be the only female in the team.

“You have to work hard at training and when you play, bring your best cricket. I think that playing with boys and men has made my cricket better as well which is a real positive.”

The Greater Hunter Coast Premier Cricket Club is one of the newer teams in the Sydney competition and is already making its mark on young players.

“The dynamics and culture are very good at the Club. As a team, we encourage each other, especially on the field. Both team manager, Julie Wharton, and coach Chris Wharton, inspire good sportsmanship and also a positive culture amongst the team.”

“I want to say thank you to Whitehaven for sponsoring our team as it is allowing girls from our regional area to play in Sydney at a high level.”

Whitehaven’s sponsorship of the Greater Hunter Coast Premier Cricket Club is part of the company’s commitment to supporting regional communities and delivering tangible benefits. In FY23, Whitehaven contributed $4.35 million to community causes and projects, ranging from health and education initiatives through to sport and environmental organisations.

For more information, please refer to our 2023 Sustainability Report.


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