Photo Credit: Sydney Thunder
As Sydney Thunder prepares for its biggest ever Fan Day, Chris Green – one of the club’s most popular players – recalled the joy he felt to meet his childhood hero during the early days of his BBL career.
Green, who was 21 at the time, admitted he was “starry-eyed” when South African superstar Jacques Kallis arrived at his first training session at the beginning of Sydney Thunder’s BBL|04 season.
Thunder’s spin-bowling allrounder explained the reason he couldn’t contain his glee was because, as a 12-year-old, he’d plastered his bedroom walls with posters of Kallis, and he’d ‘lived’ every ball the powerful Proteas all-rounder faced as a batter or bowled.
“I definitely had a ‘fan moment’ with Jacques Kallis when we played together at Thunder,” said Green with a laugh. “I had my photo taken with him!
“I always wanted to get a photo with my hero because I looked up to him, and [getting one] left an impression with me.”
Adding to Green’s excitement of playing alongside the player he barracked for as a boy was winning the BBL|05 champion’s trophy with him when Sydney Thunder defeated the Melbourne Stars at the MCG.
It’s because Green is aware of the importance of boys and girls meeting their sporting idols that he’s an unabashed supporter of Sydney Thunder’s Fan Day, which this year will be staged at Prince Alfred Square in the heart of Parramatta [from 12.30pm to 3pm] on Saturday, December 10.
Besides providing all cricket lovers with the opportunity to meet Thunder’s BBL and WBBL superstars and the chance to engage in a raft of FREE and FUN activities – including taking some classic, diving catches on an inflatable field – the day will hold special significance to Green and his Thunder clubmates.
“It’s huge!” Green enthused when asked what this year’s Fan Day meant to him. “The players all look forward to it. For me, it is one of my favourite days of the BBL season because we get to spend time with those people who throw so much support to us throughout our season.
“We’ve been starved of that interaction with our fans and members for two years [due to COVID restrictions], and to have the whole club together – Thunder’s men’s and women’s team – means it’ll be a great day.
“Being a part of what we call ‘Thunder Nation’ whether you’re a fan, a player or a partner is a huge thing. We consider ourselves a loved club, and we generally do care about one another. The players talk about the support we get from our community and our fan base all the time because they mean a lot to us.
“It’s special to be able to have that interaction we’ll have at our Fan Day and at all our matches after being starved of it because of COVID.
“It’s a huge highlight for us to be able to have the interaction… to be up close and personal… and to be able to take part in something like the Fan Day activities as well. And it pleases us all to know the Fan Day is a highlight for the children and fans who turn up.”
Green, who it’s estimates has posed for more selfies with fans than the great Don Bradman scored runs, applauded the decision to host the day in Thunder Nation’s heartland – the Parramatta CBD.
Besides gaining enjoyment from his interactions with the club’s supporters (and even those from rival teams!) Green said he hoped the time he spent with fans gave each of them a lift.
“I have so much wonderful support from Thunder fans, and cricket fans in general,” he said. “I’ve always considered posing for photos, signing autographs, and talking about cricket to our supporters as giving back and an opportunity to try and inspire the next generation.
“I know I’m not necessarily the best player in the BBL, but while I always aim to have fun and enjoy myself on-and-off the field, I can’t help but to think that, in the bigger picture, leaving the best mark I can with the kids is perhaps even more important than what I do on the cricket field.”
“An important role BBL players have is to inspire the next generation of players. Everyone at Thunder just wants our fans – and those who follow cricket – to have fun.”
Sydney Thunder Fan Day
When: Saturday 10 December 2022
Where: Prince Alfred Square, Parramatta
Price: This is a FREE event for all
RSVP: Via Facebook Event or simply turn up
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