Monday, May 27, 2024

Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers set to meet for Faith Thomas Trophy

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Photo Credit: Adelaide Strikers

The Strikers are thrilled to welcome the inaugural Weber WBBL First Nations Round to Adelaide, with the Faith Thomas Trophy match against Perth Scorchers set to launch the historic round on Kaurna Land on 17 November.

It will be the fifth time the Strikers and Scorchers have faced off for the beautiful trophy, named in honour of the first Aboriginal woman to represent Australia in any sport.

Born in 1933 in Nepabunna, Aunty Faith lived an extraordinary life, becoming one of the first Indigenous college graduates in the country, one of the first nurses and an endlessly inspiring advocate for positive societal change.

Instrumental in bringing the plight of Indigenous Australians to the forefront, Aunty Faith tirelessly illuminated the struggles faced by the world’s oldest civilisation. On average during her time as a nurse, Aboriginal people lived 20 years less than the rest of the population and were not even counted as citizens until Aunty Faith had celebrated her 37th birthday.

Living out her car, Aunty Faith travelled the country providing care to Indigenous Australian’s, with the full impact of her selfless efforts unable to be measured. Well after her retirement from the medical profession, Aunty Faith fought strongly for the rights of Aboriginal people, and received an Order of Australia in 2019 in honour of a life spent working for the betterment of others.

The story of how Australia’s first female Indigenous international sportsperson took up cricket is a beautiful illustration of the determined, resolute character that has inspired so many. While still very young, Aunty Faith was struck by a cricket ball, causing her to burst into tears as the pain coursed through her. In response, she thought it best to get a bat so that next time she was ready. Thus, a Test cricketer was born.

Quickly becoming the fastest female bowler of her time, Aunty Faith was selected for tours of England and New Zealand but choose not to travel due to the huge amounts of time it would mean being away from home. She would not be denied that baggy green however, eventually collecting number 48, a prized possession that she still carries around with her to this day.

Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Cricket Advisory Committee of South Australia and Founder of the Aboriginal Sports Hall of Fame Federation, not to mention owner of the remarkable figures of six wickets for no runs against Adelaide Teachers College early in her career, Aunty Faith’s legacy is beautifully represented in Adelaide Oval’s Avenue of Honour alongside other greats of the game.

A true trailblazer in women’s sport, and a remarkable person who has led a full, adventurous and selfless life, it is an honour for the Adelaide Strikers to play for a trophy bearing her name. Aunty Faith reminds us that one person can change the world, one person can make a difference, and a society can be better if we fight for what is right and listen and learn with open hearts and minds.

The WBBL First Nations Round will take place from November 17-21 on the lands of the Kaurna people at Adelaide Oval and Karen Rolton Oval and Yuwibara people at Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay.

The Rounds will acknowledge, pay respect and celebrate the First Nations and traditional custodians of the land and waters encompassing where we are privileged to live, work and play the great game of cricket.

At matches throughout the First Nations Rounds the League and Clubs will showcase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and ceremony. Along with the barefoot circle, welcome to country and smoking ceremony, an immersive experience for attendees at matches will be created including incorporation of local languages and traditions throughout the match days.

The Strikers and Scorchers will meet at Karen Rolton Oval on November 17, with both teams proudly wearing playing kit designed by local Indigenous artists as they determine who will hold the Faith Thomas Trophy for the coming year.


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