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Indigenous Cricket Excellence was on display at the Sydney Cricket Grounds (SCG) this week for the annual Jack Marsh Cup. Two teams from NSW and the NT competed in a shortened T20 match, which saw NSW win on Gadigal country.
The Jack Marsh Cup is an Indigenous cricketing program run by global cricket organisation Last Man Stands. It’s aimed at encouraging the development of Indigenous cricketing at the grass roots across Australia.
The tournament honours the legacy of Bundjalung pace bowler, Jack Marsh who in the 19th century struggled to gain recognition and the opportunity other skilled players at the time were given.
National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) LIFE Programs Manager Sean Appoo captained the NSW team with help from First Hand Solution’s Director and Founder, Peter Cooley selected the NSW side.
“The NSW players came from all points of the compass across Sydney.” “It was a pretty amazing opportunity. It’s not every day you get to play on the SCG, so I think that was a big drawcard for many of the players.” said Sean.
He elaborated that the tournament was an excellent opportunity for young Indigenous cricketers to show their talent and promote positive social change through participation in sport.
“A lot of our work is around promoting healthy lifestyle choices. Empowering young Indigenous peoples to get active and healthy through regular exercise and eating well,” said Sean.
“The Jack Marsh Cup and Last Man Stands program is a great opportunity to show positive Indigenous role models in the community,” he said.
Only a hand full of Indigenous cricketers has represented Australia in the sport, this program hopes to change this.
17 year old Indigenous cricket star Ashley Gardiner competed in the Cup on Monday and hopes to one day play for Australia. Now in her 11th season the teenager from Picnic Point in Sydney, was selected this year for the NSW Breakers squad.
“It’s a great opportunity to be selected for the squad,” She said she is proud to be an Indigenous female playing the sport and hopes to see more females on the pitch in the future.
“There are a lot of males in the sport and it would be great to have more Indigenous women involved.” What she loves most about cricket is the opportunity to meet new people.
“Games like the Jack Marsh Cup are a great way to meet new people in the sport, I really enjoyed it,” she said.
The NCIE’s LIFE team are running a regular community cricket competition every Tuesday between 5.30 and 7.30 from next week to the end of December.