Darlington proud to take part in WBBL's First Nations round

Hannah Darlington in the Sydney Thunder Indigenous kit designed by Rheanna Lotter. Picture: Sydney Thunder

Hannah Darlington in the Sydney Thunder Indigenous kit designed by Rheanna Lotter. Picture: Sydney Thunder

Hannah Darlington can't wait to play in the WBBL's first ever First Nations round this year.

The Sydney Thunder captain - a Campbelltown-Camden Ghosts player and Westfields Sports High graduate - is one of five Indigenous players in the Women's Big Bash League this season and knows how much it means to other aspiring cricketers.

She said it was important Indigenous kids could see that cricket was a sport for them.

"I've been really privileged in that cricket has been the pathway for me in terms of learning more [about my culture]," Darlington said.

"I was the Indigenous kid a couple of years ago in Alice Springs and seeing the initiatives that have come in place since then and I've been lucky enough to come through the pathways since then.

"[Cricket Australia] has been instrumental in showing that they care about the Indigenous community and brining more players through the system - Anika Learoyd and I are a perfect example of that.

"I think this First Nations round is a good opportunity to bring it to the whole country."

The proud Kamliaroi woman said the AFL and NRL did a great job in bringing their sports to Indigenous communities and engaging Indigenous youth.

She said the biggest barrier cricket faced, as a sport, in reaching youth was the accessibility of equipment.

"The most difficult thing is to get equipment to [the Indigenous kids] to ensure they're learning to engage in the game we all love," the 19-year-old said.

"For us it's a continual development and we're all learning.

"The AFL and NRL are doing really well but cricket has its own path to follow."

The announcement of the First Nations round was accompanied by the reveal of the Thunder's Indigenous jersey.

Darlington explained the symbolism of the design, created by artist Rheanna Lotter.

"Our main circle is the Thunder team, the people lucky enough to wear these shirts," she said.

"The boomerangs represent fierce energy with the Thunder always attacking, which aligns with our values as a team.

"The larger circles at the top are the players of the past, present and future of the Thunder Nation.

"The star is our Aboriginal ancestors.

"And the rest is the Thunder Nation that we're proud to have worldwide."

The WBBL's First Nations round will be held from November 17-21, beginning with the Faith Thomas Trophy match between the Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers.

The BBL will hold its First Nations round from January 8-14.

Players and officials will participate in barefoot circles, while a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony will take place before games.

This story Darlington proud to take part in WBBL's First Nations round first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.