While Australian cricket has always provided extensive support networks for the players, ACA National Manager Player Development and Wellbeing Justine Whipper said this new approach has evolved from significant player investment and feedback.
“In the 2017 MOU the players set aside $13.4 million to enhance their own wellbeing structures,” Whipper said.
“What has emanated from this investment has been genuine engagement on establishing a program that the players themselves have helped create.”
“The players told us they wanted more wellbeing education and support, more financial education and an increased focus on career transition; and that is what has been delivered.”
The ACA is part of the Player Development Advisory Committee which also includes Cricket Australia, the State and Territory Cricket Associations and a number of players; namely Elyse Villani, Kurtis Patterson and Kristen Beams.
“The players told us they wanted more wellbeing education and support, more financial education and an increased focus on career transition; and that is what has been delivered."
This committee has acted as an advisory for the program's revamp and ensured a whole of sport approach to supporting the holistic development of both male and female players.
Patterson said; "GAMEPLAN is important because it’s so beneficial for our careers.
"There’s been so much research put into looking after your life outside of cricket and the benefits that has on your game. GAMEPLAN is just another aspect of that, which will further enhance our ability to perform our best on the field and off the field."
Elyse Villani said; "I think all players agree that it’s really important to maintain balance and perspective outside of the game.
"Cricket can be pretty brutal at times and being an elite athlete, nothing is guaranteed and things can shift pretty quickly.
"It’s really important to continue developing yourself outside of cricket and to make sure that we are really developing the person that’s also the athlete," said Villani.
GAMEPLAN provides a tailored approach to wellbeing based on the different stage of career a player is at; whether at the early, middle or later stages.
After travelling to Amsterdam to present at the World Players Association Conference in April, Whipper returned with renewed enthusiasm for the support provided to Australia’s elite cricketers.
“As a panellist at the wellbeing conference earlier this year, I certainly got the sense that we are amongst those at the forefront globally with the level of support we provide to our athletes,” Whipper said.
“The needs of players constantly evolve, but we believe we have the best support structures in place to provide a tailored approach to each individual’s needs depending in the stage of their career.”
It’s really important to continue developing yourself outside of cricket and to make sure that we are really developing the person that’s also the athlete.Elyse Villani