Legends head North to spread word about anonymous reporting of crime.
The Bulls Masters had never been so far North in our 12 years of operation so it was a much anticipated tour to the Remote town of Weipa. Australian Cricket royalty, Darren Lehmann, Michael Kasprowicz and Jimmy Maher joined former Australian T20 player, Nathan Reardon and Queensland Cricket legends Sam Truloff, Luke Feldman, Michael Phillipson and Gavin Fitness to run some cricket clinics with the local club and schools.
“It’s all about having some fun, getting the kids out there, learning some skills and promoting cricket”, Weipa Junior Cricket Secretary, Kylie Argent said.
It was immediately evident that things were done a little differently in the top end. The jeans and shoes came off, replaced by shorts and thongs as the tropical heat was a welcome surprise even in the middle of July.
“All of the sport is played during the Winter months here, or our dry season, because it’s too hot and too wet in Summer”, Argent explained.
Weipa is the largest town on the Cape York Peninsula and has a population of arounnd 4,000 with two schools. The Bulls Masters visited both Western Cape College and St Josephs Primary with Crime Stoppers to run some clinics and try to inspire the kids and teach them basic cricket skills.
At Western Cape, the kids got an extra surprise as popular teacher, Dallas Goodman padded up with all the protective gear in the school gym to face Nathan Reardon and Michael Kasprowicz. The kids had never witnessed such fast bowling and shrilled with delight as their teacher was repeatedly hit with bouncers.
“For a lot of our kids up on the Western Cape, they just don’t get exposed to cricket, so just a simple activity like seeing someone bowl really fast, it gets them thinking about it and when they see it on tv they have a bit more appreciation and they’re more likely to get involved in local cricket events”, Western Cape College Principle, Dan Tonon said.
“They definitely enjoyed seeing me get hit in the scone (head)”, Dallas Goodman said.
Another important aspect of the tour was supporting the Crime Stoppers Far North Volunteers who were part of the tour. They were canvassing the community to promote the anonymous crime reporting platform.
“Young people do look up to elite sportsman and women, it’s the Queensland spirit and Bulls Masters are well known throughout Country Queensland so it made sense to partner with them to promote our message”, Crime Stoppers Volunteers Far North Chairman, Mladen Bosnic said.
“It’s such important work that they do”, Bulls Masters Managing Director, Jimmy Maher said.
“Especially in isolated communities like Weipa, it’s important that everyone feels safe. Anonymous reporting is a great tool to have because it takes away that fear of reprisal”, Maher said.
Crime Stoppers Queensland is a registered charity and community run organisation that is supported by local volunteers across the state.
The Bulls Masters were also there to raise money for the Weipa Junior Cricket Club and the dinner at the Albatross Bay Resort Hotel (Alby) was a fantastic event that was well supported by the local community.
The entertainment for the night was provided by fascinating tales from Michael Kasprowicz, Nathan Reardon, Jimmy Maher and Darren Lehmann. The intimate setting at the Alby made this one of the best dinners we’ve ever had and the crowd were close and engaged. Many thanks must go to Tim Broderick and his team at the Alby for doing whatever they could to support the tour, especially the dinner.
Luke Feldman played MC and Nathan Reardon was the auctioneer for the night. Ask Nathan and he’ll probably tell you that his auctioneering skills are to thank for the roughly $15,000 raised for the local community.
The game against the Weipa XI on Saturday had a strong local crowd attending, and some people travelled long distances to be part of the fun.
The Weipa Women took on the Weipa Kids in the curtain-raiser. Make no mistake, it was a competitive game and neither side gave an inch.
“It brings the community together and it actually shows the support from the wider community. A lot of the women here are the parents of the children and it’s great that we get an opportunity to play a sport together and see everyone get behind this event”, Women’s player, Rebecca DeGraaf said.
The Bulls Masters batted first against the Weipa XI and the small field was never going to contain the big hiitting from Sam Truloff, Michael Phillipson and Nathan Reardon who blasted the Masters to a whopping 240 score from their 20 overs.
The locals tried valiantly to chase down the runs but in the end fell a few short!
A big thank you has to go to Toll Global Logistics and Lindsays Transport for helping us make the trip happen too. It takes a lot of planning and lots of gear was shipped up to Weipa which is no small feat. Both Toll and Lindsays worked tirelessly under tight deadlines to support the tour and can’t be thanked enough!
Queensland Cricket representatives, Trish Spry and Mick Rees worked hard to help us put the tour together too. They do great work in Far North Queensland and are highly respected in the Weipa community for the support they give in cricket circles.