“Three years ago, one of our senior players, Rob Fisher; who also works at Loddon Mallee Interchange, suggested that we set up an all abilities cricket team.”
Make a Change is talking with James O’Bryen who is Secretary at Axe Creek Cricket Club. “This was back in 2012 and as a club we jumped at the opportunity. We don’t want to turn people away from playing cricket.”
An all abilities cricket team is for people who have intellectual or physical disability.
“Sport is often about attracting the best performers and we want to be leaders in diversity and inclusion.” This is a mantra that Cricket Victoria call Harmony in Cricket. Harmony in Cricket celebrates the message that cricket is a game for everyone.
“When sport is inclusive the sport will survive and thrive,” says James.
The Axe Creek All Abilities Cricket team had just three players in 2013, they now have grown to 40 players. The side competes as the only regional team in the Melbourne All Abilities Cricket Association.
The Axe Creek club hosted a Come-and-try day in partnership with Bendigo Community Health for Afghan refugees. James explains “Afghan refuges who work in Bendigo often go to Melbourne on the weekends. Hosting an event that is welcoming and explains the sport of cricket gives people a fun way to meet new people and learn each others cultures,” James laughs. “Our indoor cricket afternoon soon turned into indoor soccer”.
These communities also stay in contact with the Karen community and the Bendigo Police with an annual soccer match. “When we get together it is social and you get to know and understand one another.”
Living Together is on Tuesday 15th March 6.30pm to 9pm, at the Morley Johnson Building 23-25 Mitchell St, Bendigo.
This event is
hosted by Make a Change Australia in partnership with Loddon Campaspe
Multicultural Services and the generous support of The City of Greater
Bendigo, The Community Foundation for Central Victoria, Mayor Rod Fyffe
and Jumpleads NFP.