GIRL POWER: New Cricket Victoria participation officer for Mallee Murray, Natasha Anstee, with Scared Heart Primary School student Sadie Woollard, 9. Natasha is only four months into her tenure, and already harbours bold ambitions to improve female participation in the sport. Photo: PAUL MENSCH

By MITCH RODD

NATASHA Anstee can’t believe her good fortune.

She gets to visit schools around Sunraysia and teach cricket to kids.

Four months into her tenure as the new Cricket Victoria participation officer for Mallee Murray, Natasha is loving life.

The 40-year-old is passionate about cricket, having been a long-time women’s cricketer for Workers Gol Gol in the Sunraysia Cricket Association (SCA).

Her three daughters have also taken up the game.

Working alongside Mallee Murray cricket manager Tom Huf, Natasha is tasked with promoting cricket among local schools and teaching skills to the next generation of youngsters coming through.

Natasha said that she is passionate about providing pathways for girls to get involved in the sport she loves.

“It’s all about making cricket fun and exciting for the kids,” she said.

“Everything we do really emphasises excitement, especially through our association with the Big Bash League.

“It’s fantastic, at age 40 I never thought I would land a job that I would be so passionate about.

“My passion is women’s cricket and really helping to develop those next generations of girls cricketers.

“I think being a female hopefully gives these young girls someone to look up to.

“I just love the game in general. We’ve been really lucky to have seen a few talented young girls come through and make a name for themselves at a higher level, notably Rhiann O’Donnell, Makinley Blows and Teagan Parker.

“I think the success of the junior competition which was introduced last year can make a real difference.

“It’s great to see girls in schools especially getting really excited about cricket.

“With the success of the WBBL and the Australian Women’s Cricket team, it’s really brought female sport back into the mainstream.

“It’s not just cricket either, AFLW and the W-League are also doing great things for women in sport.

“Tom and I have made a really good team and we work really well together.

“Tom works more with clubs side of things while I’m more involved with the schools and younger kids.”

Natasha will be in charge of the Woolworths Cricket Blast School cups over the coming month, as well as promoting the Cricket Blast holiday programs.