Sunshine Heights Cricket Club

Uploaded by ausport on 22.08.2010

Played cricket all my life. Very passionate about cricket but most of all very passionate
about getting young people involved in sport.
The passion – good sport to play.
There’s Japanese people, Sudanese, all from different backgrounds, Indian…lots.
We have a huge diversity of cultures at the Sunshine Heights Cricket Club. Our most recent
group is the Sudanese. We have about 13 Sudanese boys playing for us. Vietnamese, Philippino
, Maltese, Greek – you name it I think we are represented by about 20 different cultures.
Our (Cricket Victoria) main program is the Harmony in Cricket program. That’s targeted
as cricket being a game for all people regardless of their cultural background, age, religion,
gender or ability.
Love how you get to meet new people, make friends and yeh have fun.
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When I first saw people playing cricket I thought they were people chucking the ball
and just hitting it. Then after that I started getting experienced and I started playing
and I started understanding the game like how you play it.
I started playing cricket because my coach, who is a primary school teacher at the local
school, got my brothers into it. My brother asked me if I could play and now I’m playing.
About five years ago I had a whole group of Grade 5-6 boys who started to get a little
bit interested in cricket. They were playing cricket out in the yard and all that kind
of thing so I made contact with the Sunshine Heights Cricket Club and that was when my
relationship started with them.
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I wouldn’t be playing cricket right now and I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t get
these opportunities to play on the MCG and all this stuff.
It just brings a fantastic thing to the cricket club in that I see cricket as a reflection
of society and I think local cricket clubs should reflect their community.
Cricket is very much about Australian culture and very much about Australian summer so it
helps them integrate and understand what Aussies are all about but it’s also very important
for them to get involved with healthy activity and it’s a popular way to do so.
The fact that they feel and belong to something. Other than their family or school they actually
have somewhere else where they can feel that they can belong and feel welcome.
The main opportunities are kids integrating with clubs, their local community, they make
friends, parents get involved and they create a really good club culture and club environment.
There are also the health opportunities as well. Just getting out there being healthy
and engaging in physical activity.
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What I love about bowling is trying to get it on the spot, not trying to bowl too quick.
Just try and keep it on the spot, keep it tidy.
For cricket specifically there are a few challenges. (and one is) For a new arrival community there’s
issues of language, communication and just cultural issues. There’s also, particularly
for new kids coming to the country who may not have established homes and communities
yet, it’s also finding the money to afford things like cricket bats, balls and helmets
and so on.
One of the things that happen is that they tend to struggle at school initially particularly
our most recent arrivals the Sudanese refugees. However they love sport. They have a real
passion for sport and they are very good at it. So getting them involved in organised
sport in a sporting club it’s a great way to develop their self esteem and the way they
view themselves in the world.
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They’ve helped me with a lot of things like equipment and transport and they’ve given
me all the equipment that I need to play cricket with. With transport my coach is nice enough
to pick me up every morning to all my cricket matches and sometimes training.
The main strategy that Cricket Victoria looks at is our partnerships. We have a strong partnership
with Vic Health and the state government to fund a lot of these projects. At a local level
we look at clubs to get involved with local sponsors, other cricket clubs and to get more
community and volunteer involvement, even look at other funding partners as well.
This year we’ve been really lucky through forming a relationship with Cricket Victoria,
through their Harmony in Cricket program, to have employed for the first time a multicultural
aid. He is a Sudanese man by the name of Quan. He has been brilliant with liaising with families,
basically breaking down language barriers sometimes.
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Ricky Ponting – he’s a very good batsman and I like his style of play. I wish to be
like him one day.
First of all win the trust of the families and the parents. I guess for other clubs it’s
a case of going around and meeting the parents and introducing themselves and really winning
their trust. They can see that you are there for the kids and that you are going to provide
a really good opportunity for them.
It is new and it could be scary for a lot of club volunteers to start looking at involving
kids and particularly new arrivals into their clubs. So for clubs starting look at other
projects at other clubs that are already doing it. Ask for help because those clubs are always
willing to help out as they are generally proactive and even speak to Cricket Victoria
and Cricket Australia. This is an area that both organisations are supporting in Victoria.
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The possibilities are endless. I look at the moment at some of our Sudanese boys who are
developing into really talented fast bowlers and I think that Cricket Victoria and organisation
with pathways programs would be mad not to be getting out and really tapping into some
of this talent.
I think that we are just scratching the surface. There’s a lot of opportunity for cricket
to grow to other multicultural groups. We’ve seen it happening with our own eyes and I
think we’re just at the tip of the iceberg and hopefully we’ll see a Sudanese or Vietnamese
kid pulling on the baggy green one day so that’s the ultimate for me to see but generally
to see all these new kids take up the sport of cricket and get healthy and engaged.
I want to play for Australia one day and captain the Australian team.