Photo Credit: Sydney Thunder
Refugee Week bringing together the Thunder Nation
Sydney Thunder’s Refugee Week T10 tournament returned on Sunday after COVID-19 forced last year’s cancellation with the aim of breaking down barriers between police and refugees.
The tournament is held annually during Refugee Week, June 20-26. involving members of the Australian Federal Police and keen cricketers representing Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Fiji, Pakistan and India, many of whom have sought asylum in Australia.
By bringing these communities together the event acts as a mechanism to build relationships and rapport between the AFP and refugees who have had negative experiences with authority in their home country. The tournament began in 2019.
This year’s tournament was held at Ollie Webb Reserve in Parramatta with five teams competing including an AFP team, the Afghan-Australia Youth Association, a Rest of the World Team and two teams consisting of Sri Lankan heritage players – Oceans 12 and Sun Boys.
It promotes a message of “unity” which is the main theme for Refugee Week this year, initiated by the Refugee Council of Australia.
A message which resonates strongly with the Australian Federal Police.
“Connecting with the community we serve is a key pillar to the AFP’s success,” AFP Commander Brett James said, who also participated on the day.
“It opens up the door to better understanding one another and how we can work together to solve the complex problems that we all face.
“Connecting communities through cricket’ is the AFP Cricket Clubs mission and there is no better way to make new friends than through a friendly but competitive game of cricket.
“Our relationship with Sydney Thunder is long lasting and authentic with our focus being on growing the game of cricket but opening pathways for members of our community to pursue.
“I really hope that our participation in the Refugee Cup will spark interest from players in a career with the AFP.”
Rain unfortunately intervened during round four of five on Sunday but that did not take away from the true purpose of the event with all matches played in amazing spirit.
The T10 tournament is part of a suite of initiatives that the Thunder have established since its inception in 2011 promoting social cohesion.
The event was originally initiated by Abdul Razzaq, founder of All Nations Social Cricket, and has been consistently supported by Sydney Thunder since inception.
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