by Rick McCarthy
It was a great feeling to be on the road again, although it was 4.45am, heading for Young and our first DreamCricket Gala day for almost twelve months. The squealing and laughter of happy children having fun, experiencing for some the first time they have held a cricket bat like their idols on TV.
Not a lot of traffic on the highway with the homestead's spotted over the darkened hills, dim distant light piercing through the rising dawn and imagining the locals waking for their morning routines.
As the day broke a light misty rain brightened the countryside giving vivid colour to the crops and took away the mesmerizing dot, dash, dot, dash of the white line markers on the road lane dividers.
As I turned off the highway to the lonelier country roads there was a neatness pattern, 1 metre of poisoned yellow grass/weeds, running into the rich green fields of healthy crops, either side of the black tarred road.
I arrived in Young where only the tradies were buzzing around and the occasional jogger or dog walker. The rain still threatening with a cool morning breeze.
Do we set up on the large slightly dampened Oval or inside the Young North Public School hall? Plenty of room, cool breeze, damp grass, verses basketball court size, protected, possibly noisy with 100 children hall! A decision to be guided by the local Rotarians!
Yes, outside with a mist while setting up, which soon dissipated and left a moderately tempered dry day with sunny patches, plenty of room to practice those straight drives and strong bowling/throwing arms.
Six 15 minute rotations with a recess/drink break at half way point and 30 minutes for lunch with the appetites ready for the traditional culinary skills of Rotary BBQ and a soft drink. I was still retracting the activity gear and setting up for the modified games when they were eager to return to the field.
All those skills learnt during the morning session put to practice with the twelve High school students from Hennessy Catholic College and Young High School continuing their enthusiastic assistance to the children. An unusual occurrence once again, both sides scoring equal runs and congratulating each other with load applause.
Although sad the day was finished, you could see the energy was spent on most as they thanked everyone and shook hands like the end of a Rugby match, collected their gear some still being interviewed and photo'd by the local newspaper and WIN TV interviews. Great coverage to be screened next week nightly news covering all Young, Cootamundra and Cowra participants.
It was no surprise they were revitalized when asked to line and collect their prized possession, a participation medallion.
Again a very successful day for all participants and volunteers. 95 children, 18 teachers, 14 Rotarians and 12 High School activity managers. Congratulations to you all. Hennessy Catholic College Sports teacher, local cricket coach and rep.manager has agreed to sit down with Rotary in the next two weeks to set a date for next year, and give thought to being the local DreamCricket Coordinator. Many hands make light work and it was in no time I was packed, debriefed the day, thanked, and on my way back to Bowral.
The feeling of the day keeping me on a high and the ability to drive home, reminiscing over the great joy that comes from seeing the response these children get from things we take for granted.
Yours in cricket,
Rick McCarthy OAM