Cricket clinics open up the world
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.’’
REGIONAL OPPORTUNITY: RORZ cricketers Rory Hawke, 11, ( front) Josh DeMunari, 16, Lachlan Joyce, 17, and Coen Harker, 19.