Cricket clin­ics open up the world

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE - with Bet­tina War­bur­ton & Gina Mosch bet­tina. war­bur­ton@ news. com. au gina. mosch@ news. com. au

CRICKET has been good to Townsville dad Brian Hawke and the Aus­tralian school­boys coach is on a mis­sion to give all re­gional kids the same op­por­tu­ni­ties the game has given him.

The fa­ther of two grew up in Ma­reeba and knows how dif­fi­cult it can be for young crick­eters in North Queens­land.

“Our coaches were our par­ents and there was no for­malised coach­ing around back then,’’ Mr Hawke said.

“The ex­po­sure kids in re­gional ar­eas can get to ex­pert coach­ing is lim­ited be­cause of the dis­tance we are from the big cities. The cost of get­ting a qual­ity coach up here is ridicu­lous.

“Hav­ing grown up in that en­vi­ron­ment and to now be able to give some­thing back is great.’’

Mr Hawke launched his Townsville- based cricket equip­ment com­pany, RORZ Cricket, last year and has started run­ning school hol­i­day cricket camps to give re­gional kids un­prece­dented ac­cess to ex­pert coach­ing and men­tor­ing.

Two- day cricket clin­ics have been held in Cairns and Ather­ton this school hol­i­day break and saw young crick­eters be­ing men­tored by coaches of na­tional and state school­boys teams.

Mr Hawke hopes to of­fer another clinic dur­ing the Septem­ber school hol­i­days in Townsville.

“If I can open up a net­work for re­gional kids again and to give those kids the same op­por­tu­ni­ties that I’ve had, then I think we’ve done some­thing right,’’ he said.

“Cricket has been very good to me. I’ve trav­elled around Aus­tralia, met a lot of peo­ple and now I’m start­ing to travel around the world all be­cause of the game.’’

RORZ Cricket is next year giv­ing school kids, aged 14- 17, the op­por­tu­nity to tour Sri Lanka and ex­pe­ri­ence in­ter­na­tional cricket first hand. The Bulls Masters are pro­vid­ing fund­ing for the tour to sup­port cricket de­vel­op­ment in the North.

“If you want re­ally hard cricket, that part of the world is where you want to go. It’s life chang­ing be­cause you see kids play­ing on the street,” Mr Hawke said.

“There’s no Xbox or PlayS­ta­tion – they play cricket on the street ev­ery­where you go. Young kids come back bet­ter peo­ple for the ex­pe­ri­ence.’’

Mr Hawke en­cour­aged par­ents to get their kids in­volved in cricket.

“It caters for all lev­els with pro­grams and mod­i­fied games for kids at schools and it gives kids the op­por­tu­nity to meet peo­ple,” he said. “It al­lows for down time when you have to talk; where you’re not look­ing at screen.

“Kids are out of the house and striv­ing for some­thing.’’

Pic­ture: WES­LEY MONTS

RE­GIONAL OP­POR­TU­NITY: RORZ crick­eters Rory Hawke, 11, ( front) Josh DeMu­nari, 16, Lach­lan Joyce, 17, and Coen Harker, 19.

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