Photo Credit: Queensland Cricket
In a major development for Queensland Cricket’s Indigenous Pathways, the Queensland arm of the esteemed Taverners Queensland has generously injected $40,000 to support the inaugural North Queensland v South Queensland Indigenous Challenge.
This exciting new fixture is set to bring together 24 of the state’s most talented male indigenous cricketers, providing them with a platform to showcase their skills and vie for selection in Queensland’s National Indigenous Cricket Championship (NICC) side.
Queensland Cricket has been actively advancing its Reconciliation Action Plan, placing significant emphasis on expanding opportunities for First Nations players in the seasons to come. Among the various key focus areas, the introduction of this intra-state challenge stands out as a remarkable initiative, aimed at fostering better connections between players identified through the prestigious Eddie Gilbert talent development program and higher cricketing opportunities.
Expressing gratitude for the funding injection, the Queensland Cricket First Nations Project Officer, Kieren Gibbs, lauded the event’s potential to enrich the wider pathways program.
“There is a big gap between participating in community competition and the NICC,” he said.
He continued, “Not only will the tournament provide a higher-level of cricket for more players, but it will keep more players engaged in the program if they are on the fringe of being selected in the QLD team”.
Taverners Queensland have been major supporter of indigenous and inclusive cricket since the charity was formed in the 1980’s. In the past, the organisation has provided financial contributions to Deaf Cricket Australia, Sport Inclusion Australia, and the Imparja Cup. Chairman Peter Evans was impressed by the extra focus being placed on the indigenous pathways program.
“We were amazed with Queensland Cricket’s desire to bridge a gap within the indigenous talent pathway and agreed that whilst the tournament may only directly impact 24 or so players, it will act as a showcase for many younger indigenous players who are aspiring for higher levels of cricket” he said.
Queensland Cricket Chief Executive Officer Terry Svenson thanked Taverners Queensland for their continued support of community and grassroots cricket initiatives.
“They have provided funding for a variety of inclusive programs as well as making significant contributions to assist with Flood Recovery measures in 2021 and 2002, and put in place a partnership with mental health support network Outside The Locker Room for Queensland Premier Cricket clubs in 2023-24.”
“We congratulate and thank them for their generosity,’’ he said.
The North Queensland-South Queensland Indigenous Challenge will take place in Cairns on the weekend of the 11th and 12th of November and will be made up of three T20 games. Aspiring participants eager to represent their regions should keep an eye out for forthcoming information about the selection process or can contact Kieren Gibbs on Kieren.Gibbs@qldcricket.com.au.
The Lord’s Taverners are a charitable association with the primary aim of raising funds for financial disbursement program is balanced across a number of worthy causes including the provision of sporting facilities, equipment and opportunities for Blind, Deaf, Indigenous, Disabled and Junior cricketers. For more information of the organisation, or to become a member, visit lordstavernersqld.org.au.