Blue stumps for wellbeing

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Justin FrisSouth Western Times
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Burekup Cricket Club members (L to R) Gerard Robertson, Mathew Sewell, Brendan Ebert, Nathan King (president), Daniel Ebert, Troy Frontino and Royston Christie are taking on the Lords XI in memory of their club mate Chris Smith on Sunday.
Camera IconBurekup Cricket Club members (L to R) Gerard Robertson, Mathew Sewell, Brendan Ebert, Nathan King (president), Daniel Ebert, Troy Frontino and Royston Christie are taking on the Lords XI in memory of their club mate Chris Smith on Sunday. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

In the shadow of darkness following a tragic event, members of the Burekup Cricket Club managed to find a ray of sunshine.

Heading into its third year on Sunday, the BCC’s annual blue stumps T20 cricket match has become an institution in the community, with the aim of raising awareness of mental health-based issues.

Club president Nathan King outlined the timeline behind the concept, which begun following the death of beloved club member Chris Smith. “Being a small community-minded club, it hit our players pretty hard,” Mr King said.

“We sort of sat around in a circle stunned one afternoon not long after his death and “One of the guys came up with the concept of whether we could have a blue stumps day. — on a similar line to the pink stumps day, which is held for cancer research.

“We then reached out to Sports Chaplaincy Australia for guidance and support for what the club was going through and they were brilliant.

“They sent a couple of pastors out to sit among the team and have a chat to some of the younger players to see how they were feeling.

“From there, we found out SCA actually ran a cricket team called the WA Lords XI. And by the December, we were playing a T20 match and painting a tree blue on the side of the oval.”

The BCC’s result on the scoreboard against the WA Lords XI on Sunday is irrelevant, according to Mr King, given the greater importance of the day.

“A good catalyst to get people talking is through the avenue of sport, and our sport of choice is cricket,” he said.

All proceeds from food and drink sales will be donated to a variety of mental health initiatives, including RUOK, Blue Stumps Cricket and the Blue Tree project.

If you or someone you know would like mental health support, please callLifeline Australia on 13 11 14.

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