In a country where sports stars are treated like rockstars, it’s sometimes easy for athletes to forget the power they have to help others. This isn’t the case however for Sydney Sixers cricketer Ryan Carters, who has already used his sporting notoriety to help those in need.
The talented athlete and university student who spends his time analysing Weberian sociology and Keynesian economics at university (yep….seriously), recently started up his own philanthropy initiative called Batting For Change, which actually has a very nice tie in with cricket.
“I guess you could say that Batting for Change is about bringing cricket lovers together to support disadvantaged women in cricket playing nations," says Carters.
“People from the community can nominate an amount they would like to pledge for every Sydney Sixers six in the Big Bash League tournament, and at the end of the competition people are asked to commit to making that pre season pledge by donating.”
A simple gesture it seems and a way to have some fun for cricket fans, but the question is has it worked in raising money so far?
The answer is yes. Since the charity began in 2013 it has already raised over $160,000 for women in developing countries. Helping to educate 500 Indian women in the areas of arts, science and commerce. As well as funding three new classrooms in Nepal, which also acted as important shelter points during the recent earthquakes in the country.
For Ryan, Batting For Change was a way for him to focus on interests outside of his cricket career and try to make a real difference.
“I’ve travelled a lot and I have seen the gender inequalities in various countries, especially in India and I guess what I’d really learnt through school and university, is that women’s education is the best way to empower communities,” he says
“For every woman you educate, you’re really transforming a community, not just that woman."
This BBL season, Carters hopes Batting For Change will raise $120,000 and allow a further 600 women in India and Sri Lanka to pursue a tertiary education.
“To have an education allows a person to have an income and a decent life,” he says.
Ryan has already returned back to India and Nepal to see first hand the way in which the funds raised have helped to change young girls lives as well as the community.
“The women are extremely grateful for our help. They’re so spirited and determined and many of them told me what they want to do after they graduate, which is really inspiring.”
You can get behind Batting For Change by visiting the website and making your pledge: https://battingforchange.com.au
You can also follow the Batting For Change Journey on Facebook & Twitter.