A very special day of cricket at Bankstown - 26 August 2018
Bankstown in Sydney’s South West encompasses the essence of Australian diversity and that was no more evident on Sunday at Bankstown Memorial Oval, where a unique training session underlined the imperative of inclusion and opportunity in the area.
A range of groups including cricketers who had migrated to Australia as refugees, those with disabilities or low socio-economic backgrounds, through to Grade players from the Bankstown District Cricket Club, all trained together on Sunday.
The Recreation Sport and Aquatics Club All Abilities Cricket program for cricketers with a disability was one of those groups involved, as well as players from the Usman Khawaja Foundation ‘Chance to Shine’ Cricket Program.
The ‘Chance to Shine’ program provides an opportunity to cricketers from refugee, immigrant, indigenous and low-socio economic backgrounds to experience cricket in a safe and inclusive environment.
The state selection trials for the NSW Intellectual Disability Cricket team also took place on Sunday.
Blind Cricket NSW is also based at Bankstown Oval and train at the ground.
David Clifton from Bankstown District Cricket Club said the range of playing abilities, backgrounds and skills was made possible by the commitment and support provided from the Canterbury-Bankstown City Council and Bankstown District Cricket Club.
“The backing of all these programs shows both the need for and opportunities available for absolutely anyone who would like to learn to play cricket right through to the highest level,” said Clifton.
2017 UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities celebrated with RSAC Cricket Match at Bankstown Oval
Brianna Russell gets ready to bat
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities has been promoted by the United Nations since 1992 and this year was held on Sunday 3rd December, 2017 with the theme ‘leave no one behind’ – so as to empower persons with a disability to help fulfil their potential as equal citizens.
Indeed, the RSAC Cricket program based at Bankstown Oval has won National inclusive sport awards for the way it promotes equity and equality, coupled how the athletes are treated with respect across all abilities and are trained the same as able-bodied cricketers.
Today’s game to celebrate the Day of Persons with Disabilities was held in the afternoon and evening twilight on a magnificent wicket at Bankstown Oval and highlighted the skills and myriad abilities of the RSAC players - who range in ability from social cricketers through to elite, state-level players. As usual, some great cricketing talent was on display - but nothing is more pleasing to the coaches than seeing players’ improvements in a real game situation after honing their skills with drills and games at regular practice. Followed by a BBQ, the game was a great end to this year’s RSAC program - as everyone batted and bowled - and great recognition of The International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Left to right: Omkar Dhupar, Matt Brown, Matthew Beer, David Clifton (Program Manager), Ian Russell (assistant coach), Simon Byers, Bob Beer (President, RSAC), Raja Nallathambi, Manjit Dhupar (assistant coach), Matt Clifton (Program Head Coach, and, Assistant Coach NSW Intellectual Disability Cricket)
front: Aaron Carr, Brianna Russell, David Sutton