Ifira women’s island cricket team have defended their championship title after defeating Black Sands in the opening championship of the Women’s Island Cricket Program (WICP) at the Vanuatu Cricket Grounds.
The Women’s Island Cricket program is facilitated through the VCA’s social impact and inclusion program with funding from the Australian Government through the team up program.
Vanuatu Cricket runs the opening championship annually and the aim of the competition is to kickstart the participants fitness and wellbeing journey for the new year. WICP’s main focus is to combat Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDS) in Vanuatu through cricket and competitions encourage the women involved to engage in physical activities which contributes to their fitness and wellbeing and reduces their risks of NCDs.
Lucien Taiwia, VCA's women's island cricket officer expressed that the teams were happy to be back on the field playing cricket to improve their fitness.
"The women in the women's island cricket program take their competitions seriously and over the years have become extremely competitive which is great because that increases their enthusiasm to participate. A lot of the women are not able to find the time for physical activities when they are at home because they have to take care of their families so WICP competitions provide the perfect opportunity for them to take care of their physical wellbeing and fitness.
"We (VCA) are very happy that we are able to provide these opportunities with support and funding from the Australian Government through the Team Up program because it's had a positive impact on the lives of the women that participate by helping them fight NCDs within their homes and communities," said Taiwia.
Since the competition was introduced into the WICP, Ifira has been a strong contender and this year is no exception for the team as they made their way to another championship victory ahead of Black Sands, Beverly Hills, Eratap, Imaki and Vila North.
As Ifira claimed a 3 runs win against Black Sands, Eratap women were also hard work in the 3rd place play off against Imaki which saw them steal the victory by (1) run.
Bella Laban from team Ifira claimed the player of the grand final award for her 33 runs contribution with the bat and Elisa Kalosin won best batter award for her batting in the third place play off.
Vanuatu Cricket Association acknowledges the teams and women for participating in the competition and for their contribution towards combatting NCDs in Vanuatu.