Wallington’s first female team draws closer with debut signing

July 17, 2021 BY

Wallington President Marc Occhipinti with Maddy van Loon. Photo: SUPPLIED

WOMEN’S cricket may soon have another team joining its ranks on the Bellarine, as the Wallington Cricket Club is on the brink of fielding its inaugural female team and already has its first signing raring to go.

Maddy van Loon jumped at the chance to be a part of Wallington’s team, especially given her history with the club.

“I play footy in the winter and have always wanted to play a summer sport,” she said.

“When my dad told me that Wallington was fielding a women’s team, I was super excited because it’s a club I have grown up at and to be the next generation of van Loons to play at Wallington is exciting.”

She was nine or 10 years old when her father was the Wallington president, which is also when she received her first club shirt with “Little Pres” on the back.

Incumbent president and 300-gamer at Wallington Marc Occhipinti is preparing to be at the forefront of the women’s side.

Fielding two men’s teams in 2020-21 and adding an extra squad this coming season, Occhipinti said the club had only recently reached the point where it could form a women’s team because of significant growth at junior level.

He also said there was sufficient interest from players already, and the information night was still weeks away.

“Maddy just happened to be the first one we announced. We already have another six or seven already committed.”

Wallington needs at least 11 players to field a side but is aiming for 15 players to accommodate for weekly absences. However, there has been a considerable number of inquiries, raising the possibility of a second team.

Above all, the women looking to play this summer want a place to enjoy themselves for three hours a week and have an abundance of fun.

“I am looking forward to making new friends and having some fun with them. If I can hit some fours and sixes as well, that would be great,” van Loon said.

For Occhipinti, the greatest benefits will arise from the cricket community as a whole and the social impact it has on individuals.

“While we want to be competitive, we are also highlighting that this would be a great social outlet for players and their families. And for the mums, they get at least three hours off from the kids,” he said.

“We are emphasising the importance of community and enjoying the beautiful rural setting that the ground is set in.”

For more information on how you could join in, register your interest for the information night on August 5 through the club’s Facebook page or at wallingtoncc.com.au.


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