Trans­form­ing fun for chil­dren

Ip­swich com­pe­ti­tion helps kids par­tic­i­pate, build skills

The Queensland Times - - JUNIOR SPORT - DAVID LEMS david.lems@qt.com.au

A NEWLY in­tro­duced “Transformers’’ com­pe­ti­tion is prov­ing pop­u­lar, pro­vid­ing fun and a po­ten­tial pool of fu­ture tal­ent for the Ip­swich Vigoro As­so­ci­a­tion.

Pres­i­dent Deanne Lawrie is de­lighted with the six-a-side com­pe­ti­tion be­ing played from 8am on Satur­days at the East Ip­swich fields.

“We’ve had some re­ally good feed­back,’’ Lawrie said.

“The par­ents ap­pre­ci­ate it’s only an hour.

“We’re re­ally happy with it.’’

From four teams dur­ing a three-week trial, the com­pe­ti­tion now has six sides with em­pha­sis on fun and skill de­vel­op­ment.

The com­pe­ti­tion is mainly for boys and girls aged 10 and under, who learn the game under mod­i­fied rules.

Ev­ery­one re­ceives a set amount of time to bat, bowl and wicket keep.

“It’s a great way for play­ers new to the game to start out,’’ she said.

“We have a Kanga cricket ball, so it is a lot softer, so the kids ac­tu­ally get more con­fi­dent when they are bat­ting.’’

Lawrie said the com­pe­ti­tion was called Transformers as the new chil­dren start out with­out much vigoro knowl­edge and are “trans­formed’’ into vigoro play­ers.

The teams are named af­ter char­ac­ters in the Transformers movie. They are Oc­ca­sion­als Op­ti­mus Prime and Jet­fire, Sports Me­ga­tron and Sky­ham­mer, T.C. United Iron­hide, and Wild­cats Bum­ble­bee.

Lawrie said the Transformers for­mat had an­other ad­van­tage, build­ing a link to the sep­a­rate ju­nior com­pe­ti­tion that fol­lows on Satur­day morn­ings.

“With the ju­nior comp, which is for 14 or 15 under, we were try­ing to give ev­ery­one a go but there was such a wide range of ages,’’ she said.

“So we found that even though some of the Transformers are still play­ing up in the ju­nior comp, they’re get­ting a re­ally good skill base.

“The aim is to en­cour­age par­tic­i­pa­tion and skill build­ing whilst still hav­ing the ben­e­fits of play­ing the game.

“The aver­age age is prob­a­bly about eight.’’

PHOTO: FRANCA TIGANI

HANDS-ON EX­CITE­MENT: The Iron­hide wick­et­keeper catches the ball dur­ing her team’s lat­est match against Op­ti­mus Prime in the Ip­swich Transformers vigoro com­pe­ti­tion.

Right: The Bum­ble­bee team rep­re­sent­ing the Wild­cats club in the Transformers com­pe­ti­tion.

PHOTOS: FRANCA TIGANI

Be­low: A Me­ga­tron fielder runs out a Jet­fire bat­ter in their ex­cit­ing match. Six teams are play­ing in Ip­swich vigoro’s new com­pe­ti­tion.

PHOTO: FRANCA TIGANI

A Me­ga­tron bat­ter watches the ball closely in Satur­day’s game against Jet­fire.

Left: A young bat­ter shares in the fun with the Iron­hide team play­ing at the East Ip­swich vigoro grounds.

Right: Bowl­ing, bat­ting and field­ing roles are shared as Op­ti­mus Prime play Iron­hide in last Satur­day’s match.

A Bum­ble­bee bat­ter faces up.

PHOTO: FRANCA TIGANI

The Bum­ble­bee bat­ter has a ball en­joy­ing her turn in the Satur­day morning games.

PHOTOS: FRANCA TIGANI

The Jet­fire fielder is quick to re­turn the ball to the bowler.

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