All Cricket Australia administered competitions now enforce the mandatory use of British Standard helmets by all batters and wicketkeepers.
From the 2019-20 season, SACA is also enforcing the mandate in all State-run competitions, while strongly recommending that community associations do the same, across senior and junior club cricket competitions.
In combination with helmet supplier Masuri, Para Districts will provide compliant helmets to their clubs this season, free of charge.
“We met with Masuri last season knowing that mandating helmets was likely to happen soon because we wanted to support the clubs to adjust to this without it being too costly,” Para Districts President Andrew Quinlish said.
The association purchased 110 helmets to be distributed to clubs before the coming season, with clubs able to access even more helmets at a subsidised price. So far, another 80 have been requested.
Several associations have embraced the change in South Australia, pledging their commitment to improving safety on the field.
“At SACA, our priority is the safety of the players across competitions and it’s great that Para Districts and other associations see the importance of this, and are providing leadership for their clubs,” SACA Field Force Manager, Vanessa Walker said.
“Para Districts has excelled in recent seasons around the recommended Junior Formats, the uptake of electronic scoring, in conjunction with their long-term commitment and success in female cricket.
“Supplying helmets to their senior competitions will also coincide with the second year of SACA’s partnership with Vodafone, to supply helmets to junior club teams.”
After winning ‘Association of the Year’ at SACA’s Community Cricket Awards earlier this year, Para Districts became a national finalist at Cricket Australia’s ‘A Sport For All’ awards, with the new helmet initiative a further demonstration of the inclusive and innovative nature of the association.
“It’s really satisfying for the hard work done behind the scenes by the association,” Quinlish said.
“Our clubs also share this feeling as they are seen to be part of a successful association in Para Districts.
“There’s a lot of pride…for over twenty years, we’ve had healthy numbers of teams across junior, seniors and women’s cricket. We’ve had new clubs join the association recently, with these clubs evolving from (purely) senior clubs to now accommodating junior boys and girls, and women.”