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Study Melbourne backs wellbeing through sport

Cricket Victoria is engaging international students in the sport to improve wellbeing and social inclusion. Photo: Cricket VictoriaCricket Victoria is engaging international students in the sport to improve wellbeing and social inclusion. Photo: Cricket Victoria

"We are just scratching the surface of engaging the international student community"

The International Student Academy, developed by the state’s governing body, Cricket Victoria, in consultation with Deakin University, Bendigo Kangan Institute and international students, aims to increase student involvement in cricket to connect them with the broader community.

Participants will be eligible to participate in a specialised University and TAFE Cup and have access to a ticketing program

“The ISA program has a number of benefits for international students studying in Victoria including, building social networks and friendships, becoming mentally and physically healthy, helping them practice English and understanding more about Australia’s multicultural way of life,” Study Melbourne spokesperson Amanda Pickrell told The PIE News.

“[It] aligns with the key objectives of the ISWP, making it the ideal organisation for Study Melbourne to partner with.”

As well as benefiting international student wellbeing, the program also aims to increase participation and engagement with the sport, which peaked last year according to an audit by the national governing body, Cricket Australia.

“Through the program, we hope to develop skills and passion for the game, whilst empowering the international student cohort to discover Victorian sporting culture by attending matches and utilising facilities,” Cricket Victoria general manager game & market development, Rohan O’Neill said.

As part of the program, participants will be eligible to participate in a specialised University and TAFE Cup and have access to a ticketing program to experience cricket stadiums in Victoria.

O’Neill told The PIE the international student demographic was a potentially lucrative market for the sport.

“We are just scratching the surface of engaging the international student community, with 500 students through the program in year one,” he said.

“We expect that to build over time and developing a culture of international students loving cricket.”

“[The ISA] aligns with the key objectives of the ISWP, making it the ideal organisation for Study Melbourne to partner with”

Cricket is not the only sport currently seeking to increase its participation and viewership rates through international students, with the Australian Football League announcing an International Cup last year to encourage students and migrants to take up the sport.

In the upcoming edition of The PIE Review, we look at how providers and organisations are using football and rugby to attract international students.

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