parent opinion

'I took my kids to watch their first women's sports game. 3 unexpected things happened.'

Melbourne Stars
Thanks to our brand partner, Melbourne Stars

“I’ll do it like the girls, mum, watch this!” said my son as he bowled a tennis ball across the park to his sister, who let out a “yeah!” as she gave chase, watching the ball sail over her head. 

And so cements my children’s love affair with women’s sport, mere minutes after watching the girls in green, the Melbourne Stars, secure a win on a sunny Sunday with some power hitting and fast spinners in a close cricket match.

The Melbourne Stars shone against the Perth Scorchers, recording their second win of the WBBL season by seven runs. What a match to take the kids to! 

It was (shamefully) the first game of professional women’s sport my kids had seen live. Like millions of Aussies, we love our sport. We’re members of an AFL club, we do after-school basketball, karate, dance, swimming and would have considered ourselves quite the sports afficionados. We jumped on the Matildas bandwagon and watched the World Cup quest with enthusiasm and pride.

There are so many amazing female athletes in this country and we have quickly learned that everyone deserves a chance to demonstrate their skills in front of an adoring fan base, be that old or new.

Here are the three biggest learnings we took away with us.

We learned that women in sport are having their moment. But this is just the start.

Image: Supplied.


My daughter was chuffed to pick up a badge featuring Annabel Sutherland, and was beside herself to see her idol take two wickets. Sutherland is now pinned in top position on my daughter’s school bag and has inspired a can-do attitude during physical education, coincidentally because cricket is the subject of lessons this term. “I wonder if the girls who play for the Melbourne Stars learned how to play cricket at school like me?” she said.

World-class players participating in the comp this year include Tess Flintoff, Kim Garth and Meg Lanning, the sort of sporting role models I’m pleased my kids now know all about. Yeah the girls!

We witnessed something fast and powerful.

I mistakenly thought that cricket was a loooong game. A slow game. How wrong I was.


Image: Supplied.

With teams made up of current and former national team members, the WBBL is no backyard hit-out. These young women are elite in their field and the game is exciting. The thwack of the bat to ball, the hold-your-breath moments when a fielder is running for a catch and close finishes makes for a wonderful day out. The accessibility of these games and wave of popularity women’s sport is riding right now means kids like mine are exposed to some incredible matches and leave with a passion ignited. A win in more ways than one! 


The fervour I’ve seen for women’s sport gives me so much hope that a raft of youngsters will aspire to play at this level and fills me with joy knowing there’s no reason it won’t happen.

We didn’t expect to love it. This much.

Image: Supplied.

From the moment we walked into the CitiPower Centre, we were greeted like we were family. A big, green happy family! We were slapped with temporary tattoos, handed giant flags, scrunchies, clappers and stickers. My daughter had her face painted (in Melbourne Stars green, of course) and we found a shady spot on the hill with a great overall view of the pitch but close enough to be able to hear the ball hit the bat or the players giving each other a pep talk.


Had the weather not been so peachy we could have sat in the stands, but with the sun shining, the grass made for a shoe-free, carefree spectator experience.

Both kids had multiple turns trying to take a classic catch on a giant inflatable, trying to replicate catches we’d witnessed earlier in the game.

Image: Supplied.


We laughed that we had all the gear and no idea, but after a few overs and a rundown of the players and rules, we were right into it. Cheering the hits for six. Dancing alongside the DJ between play. We’re now planning when we can come back and watch these amazing female cricket Stars again – we’ll have that chance on November 25 when the Melbourne Stars host a standalone WBBL game at the MCG (it’s the first women’s cricket match at the venue since Australia’s win in the T20 World Cup final in front of 86,000 fans, more than three years ago).

After watching a win in person, the kids are quietly convinced they are the Melbourne Stars’ lucky charms, so we’ll have to wait and see. In any case, we’ll be there, waving our flags in support.

Show your support for women's sport, and lock in your spots to watch the Melbourne Stars take on the Renegades on Saturday November 25 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. 

In the meantime, catch the Melbourne Stars playing in Casey Fields on November 4 (free), Jubilee Park on November 8 (free), and CitiPower Centre on November 19.

Feature Image: Supplied/Instagram/@starsbbl

Melbourne Stars
The Melbourne Stars are set to take on the Renegades in a standalone match for the first time at the MCG. Show your support for women's sport and have a great night out with the family. Tickets start from just $5 for kids or if you buy a BBL membership for the summer, you'll gain free access to the November 25 women's game.
Including kids activities, facepainting, giveaways, fireworks, live music and interactive experiences, it promises to be a great night out for the whole family. See you at the 'G!