04 Jan, 2016 Last updated: 05 Jan, 2016

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter has congratulated the Melbourne Renegades on winning the first ever derby match between the Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades during the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League season.

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The two teams battled it out at the MCG on Saturday 2 January and Ms Rechter and female sport ambassador Sonya Kilkenny MP proudly presented the Lanning Elliot Cup - named after team captains Meg Lanning and Sarah Elliott - to the Renegades, following their five-wicket victory.

“VicHealth is very pleased to have partnered with both the Stars and the Renegades for the inaugural WBBL season as part of our Changing the Game initiative, which aims to get 25,000 more women and girls who are inactive to be more active through sport by the middle of 2017,” Ms Rechter said.

“We want to raise the profile of women’s sport and increase the number of women and girls participating in sport and physical activity. The WBBL has been a major step in ensuring that women’s sport gets the recognition it deserves.  The record crowd attendance and fabulous TV ratings for the match show there’s a lot of interest in women’s sport.

“Congratulations to the Melbourne Renegades for winning the Lanning Elliott Cup. I hope your success inspires future generations of women and girls to get physically active.”

Sadly, more than two-thirds of adult Australian females are classified as being sedentary or having low levels of exercise putting them at greater risk of chronic disease.

Despite the lack of participation, more than a third of adult women are sports spectators at events signalling that women are passionate about sport, but for a variety of reasons participate less in sport or recreational clubs than men do.

Saturday’s match was attended by a record crowd of 12,901 fans, and was broadcast nationally by Network Ten, attracting a strong audience of 404,000 viewers.

Melbourne Renegades CEO Stuart Coventry congratulated the team on their victory as the spotlight continues to grow on the WBBL.

“It was a narrow, exciting win and we were very proud to see our captain, Sarah Elliott, lift the cup presented by VicHealth which bears her name,” Mr Coventry said.

“Our players have been great ambassadors for the club so far in the community and last weekend’s matches were no exception. In a short space of time, the WBBL has really captured people’s attention. We’re looking forward to seeing our WBBL team in action at Etihad Stadium next Saturday in another televised double-header.”   

Melbourne Stars CEO Clint Cooper said the Stars were proud to be contributing to the promotion of women’s sport and hopes the popularity of the WBBL will encourage the next generation of girls to participate in cricket.

“We’re really proud of the professionalism our women’s team has brought to the Club. It’s a credit to them, and our loyal Melbourne Stars fans and supporters, that we could generate so much interest in the first season of the WBBL.

“The record-breaking attendance and TV viewership we achieved on Saturday for the first Lanning-Elliott Cup was just outstanding and we really believe this has changed the game when it comes to women’s sport in Australia,” Mr Cooper said.

ENDS


For more information about VicHealth’s Changing the Game initiative, visit:

https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/programs-and-projects/increasing-female-participation-in-sport-initiative 


John Fulcher,  Communications Manager       T 03 9667 1388   M 0412 978 263   E [email protected]