Ingrid Bellman wants to establish and maintain a culture of fun and inclusion in her homecoming at Cobden.
The talented cricketer has been announced as the club's inaugural women's coach, with the Knights to field seniors and under 17 teams in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association's women's divisions this season.
"It's really exciting and it's more growth for the competition itself and it's good for the town and the community to have a summer sport for women's and girls. It's something else to do," she told The Standard of being announced as coach.
Bellman said the opportunity to return home to the club she won a junior premiership with in 2015-16 was always part of her long-term plan.
"I started my junior cricket there when I was 11 or so and played a few seasons there and when the opportunity came to play girls' cricket I followed it which led me to Nirranda and later West Warrnambool," she said.
"Now the opportunity has arisen to come home which was ultimately my plan - I always wanted to return to Cobden as a player and I guess the time is now to come back as a player and coach which is exciting.
"Hopefully I can start something that will continue on for years and continue on with some great base work."
Bellman said she wanted to provide an environment at the club where women and girls could come together and enjoy each other's company, with the on-field results to come as a flow-on effect.
"I want to have a bit of fun, it's not always about winning and getting trophies in cabinets - my rule is if you're not having fun, what are you doing?," she said.
"It needs to be enjoyable to be able to learn and people learn easier when they're having fun. The social interaction at the club is really important."
Bellman said the inaugural women's program was excited to connect with the men's teams and the wider community.
"Breaking that stigma around the men playing cricket over here, the women playing cricket over there is important - we're one club and we want to be seen as one club," she said.
"I found that at other clubs, it's been great between the men and women's players.
"They both rock up to the games for support so we want to get that sense of connectivity between the club and the wider community."
Anyone is interested in joining Cobden's program can contact Bellman on 0431 231 651 or women's cricket coordinator Craig Hanks on 0407 981 447.
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