Strollers loyalty makes valuable ‘family club’ stronger
WHEN a cricket club with a valuable history and strong junior focus has a president like Brad Cumming, the future looks promising.
The girls in particular are motivated to match the boys. Important Indigenous contributions are recognised.
That's the case at Strollers Cricket Club this season where Cumming and his supporters are working hard to keep past traditions alive.
Before the club was revitalised three years ago, Cumming started his Strollers career as an eight-year-old.
Through mergers, knee injuries and changing times, Cumming has remained fiercely loyal.
"I started up the T20 side just to keep the Strollers name going around in Ipswich cricket and that's developed into starting the whole club back up again with Jono Gibbs,'' Cumming said.
"We're going all right being only our second year back in the competition.''
Cumming shared why Strollers have an important role in Ipswich cricket.
"It was always like a big family,'' the club president said.
"Everyone looked after each other, supported each other and that kept me there for 20 odd years.
"There's a lot of history behind the club and when that merger happened it was just fading away, so I just wanted to try and keep the name around. And that was done with the support of all the guys that play in that T20 Second Division side.
"This season's shirts have an Indigenous design happening.
"The design represents the history of our club dating back to 1947, our past, current and future Indigenous players and the traditional landowners the Yuggera and Uragapul people.''
Although Strollers don't have a first grade side this season, club supporters like Cumming are doing a tremendous job building for the future.
Strollers are well represented in the junior ranks.
They have teams in Junior Blasters, Level 0 (two sides), Level 1, Level 2 (two sides) and Level 3 (a combined team with Northsiders).
Among the Level 0 group is an all-girls side featuring some determined 7-10 year olds.
They have played two games this season against the boys.
"The girls are really, really good,'' Cumming said.
"We had three boys come along on Friday night and the girls were constantly into the boys telling them 'eye on the ball . . . it's coming for you be ready' . . . and they're always supporting each other.''
Cumming said the Strollers girls have been inspired by the Women's Big Bash League and the international successes of the Australian women's team.
"My own daughter is nine and she's playing in that side and we sit down and have a look at the Big Bash and she's enjoying it,'' Cumming said.
"I think a majority of girls we have are really loving it.''
Cumming said welcoming more kids into the club was positive.
"The main priority is junior development,'' the club president said.
"On top of that is getting more and more girls into cricket.''
Apart from a promising junior network, Strollers this year have two Third Grade teams (Blue and White) and a Second Division combination.
The Strollers Second graders won last season's Audrey Baxter T20 competition.
That's the team Brad and his older brother Craig are playing in this season.
Craig returned to the club this season after making state and national indoor cricket teams following years as one of the region's leading outdoor all-rounders.
The Strollers Second Grade side has won two of its three games this season.
The team is captained by Jarod Griesbach.
Strollers Blue is led by Al Phoenix.
Strollers White is captained by Stephen Kuhnke.
"Because it's second season back in, we don't want to grow too fast,'' Cumming said.
"The main priority is juniors but we are finding that there are a lot more seniors wanting to come and play.
"This year we kept it to two Third Grade sides and a Second Division side.''
He hopes the Strollers Second Division side can progress to the main competition in the future, building on its T20 success.
After wet weather issues around the grounds last weekend, other regional teams are hoping for dry conditions in their latest matches.
Qld Premier Grade
Saturday: Ipswich Hornets Firsts v South Brisbane - Souths 0/50 at Baxter Oval.
Second Grade: Hornets 3/82 at Yeronga (Nick De Giusti 21*, Noah Emerson 3*).
Sunday: Ipswich Hornets Firsts v University at St Lucia.
Second Grade: Ipswich Hornets v Valleys at Walker Oval.
Underage rep cricket
Ipswich U19s v Gold Coast at Baxter Oval.
Ipswich Taverners v Wynnum Manly at Tingalpa.
Harding Madsen Shield
Metropolitan Easts v Laidley District at Harristown.
Highfields Railways v Central Districts at Highfields.
Wests v South East Redbacks at Heritage Oval.
Northern Brothers Diggers v Northsiders at Rockville.
Brothers v Southern Districts Magpies at Walker Ova.
Thunder v University at Tivoli No.1.
Redbacks v Laidley at Raleigh Oval.
Northsiders v Brothers at Sternberg Oval.
Centrals v Thunder at Limestone Park.
Thunder Storm v Strollers Blue at Tivoli No.2.
Redbacks v Northsiders at Redbank Plains Reserve.
Strollers White v Thunder at Strollers.