Justin’s top in­nings

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS -

JUSTIN Shaw has been in love with cricket since he first strapped on the pads when he was 10 years old.

Af­ter a suc­cess­ful 25 years as a player with the Fern­dale/Lyn­wood Cricket Club, Shaw de­cided to pack away the whites in 2016.

But that was not the end of his in­volve­ment in the sport he loves.

The Har­ris­dale res­i­dent vol­un­teers with In­door Sports WA, coach­ing and men­tor­ing a group of young adults with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties who share his love for cricket.

He goes a step fur­ther than shar­ing his knowl­edge and skills and can be found hav­ing friendly chats to them on the phone, ac­com­pa­ny­ing them to events and even go­ing to birth­days and other so­cial oc­ca­sions with them.

He said it was re­ward­ing to meet and form friend­ships with the play­ers and their fam­i­lies. “These guys are fan­tas­tic,” he said. “To see how much en­joy­ment they get out of play­ing for the state is in­de­scrib­able, which is why I en­joy this priv­i­lege of coach­ing them.

“They are al­ways smil­ing no mat­ter the cir­cum­stances. What you see is what you get with them.”

Shaw’s ded­i­ca­tion and ser­vice to the sport was re­warded re­cently when he was named the WA Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion’s Male Vol­un­teer of the Year. He said the award came as a big sur­prise. “I was shocked,” he said. “I am a per­son happy to sit in the back­ground and just do my thing.

“I am very hon­oured yet hum­ble – I don’t do this vol­un­teer work for the grat­i­tude, I do it for the boys’ en­joy­ment. A lot of peo­ple put in a lot of time but you would find most peo­ple don’t do it for re­ward or recog­ni­tion; it be­comes a pas­sion and just a part of life.”

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