Cricket Is A Family Affair

WORDS: Jake Savage PHOTOGRAPHY Lifestyle Photography Vicky Adams @unsplash and supplied Family Cricket shots

There are so many reasons why your child should play cricket instead of their PlayStation or Xbox.

Brodie Cook (17) and Geoff Cook (50)

As the world moves forward at breakneck speed, the risk of children dropping out of or never finding sport increases. Fortnite, FIFA and YouTube are all compelling reasons never to leave the house again no matter what your age. But I truly believe that cricket is the perfect antidote to those activities – a pastime or hobby that when played with the right people can become a lifetime obsession. So why should your child play cricket instead of their PlayStation or XBox? There are so many reasons.

Firstly, it’s just great to get outside and play in the fresh air. We are guilty of being cooped up, stuck behind a screen for hours at a time, whether that’s a console, work PC or phone. There is barely a better feeling in the world than when Saturday comes around and it’s cricket day.

Getting up and out leads to getting active, which in turn leads to better overall fitness. Of course, cricket isn’t the dynamic 90 minutes of physical exertion that the football codes can offer, but it requires a different type of fitness and stamina for the players to perform at their best. Can a bowler continue to generate good levels of pace deep into their spell? Can a batter keep the scoreboard moving as they tire? Is a fielder able to keep sprinting around the boundary to prevent crucial runs?

It’s during the long, hot days of cricket that another crucial skill is developed – concentration. Let’s face it, you can go for a long time in a game not touching the ball. If you are at first slip, the chances are a catch might not come your way for hours at a time. However, when that moment comes, you have to be switched on and ready to take your chance. Too often a catch is missed, and you are left thinking “What happened there?”

The other fantastic physical skill that cricket teaches youngsters is that of hand-eye coordination. From facing the fastest bowling to taking sharp catches in the slip cordon, cricketers stand out from the crowd when it comes to their hand-eye development. How can you identify a true cricketer in a local park on a Sunday morning? Watch their catching technique and how easy they make it look.

Jarrod Eltis (51) with sons Charlie Eltis (17) and Harry Eltis (19)

The great paradox of cricket is that it’s ostensibly a team sport, but one played by individuals. Although there are 11 players out on the field for a team, only one person can bowl, and one batsman can face the ball at any one time. In that moment, the individual must take responsibility for their own performance. There is no hiding behind a teammate – you are exposed. This a harsh but incredibly powerful learning experience for a child, a lesson in having confidence in their own ability to perform when the pressure is on.

This should not detract from the incredible feeling being part of a team gives a child and adult alike. In fact, it is fair to say that there aren’t many better experiences than winning cricket matches, whether you have performed well or not. Think back to your best score or bowling figures, and it’s likely that unless your team came out on the right end of the result, the feeling of the individual achievement would have been somewhat soured.

Jake Savage (39) and Taj Savage (10)

One other amazing bit of life experience cricket offers to a junior is the ability to play safely with players much older than them. Think about a local fourth-grade team match which could very well include a 14-year-old making their senior cricket debut, a few 20-year-olds, 30-year-old working professionals, the 14-year-old’s Dad or Mum, and maybe even a Grandparent. That’s a real menagerie of people, an eclectic mix of individuals, stories and experiences that can only fulfil and enrich the life of a young cricketer making their way in the game and in life.

For all the reasons not to play cricket, there are many more reasons to go out there and get involved. It’s a sport that offers so many benefits, from fitness to life experience and all the technical skills in between. The sport remains a passion for millions all over the world – there’s a reason people keep coming back week and week.

The Bonogin Valley Bulls have many parent/child combinations throughout their 4 senior Grades as well as a whole range of individuals from 14 years old through to their 60s.

Junior Cricket especially at the under 10s level is the fastest growing age for cricket participation on the Gold Coast followed just behind Veterans Cricket (over 40s, 50s and 60s). Combine this with the growth of girls’ cricket on the Coast and we will soon see all sides fielding women’s teams with Mums and daughters as well as men’s teams with Fathers and sons all over the Coast on a Saturday afternoon.

If you are looking for a club to play at, look no further than the Bonogin Valley Bulls Cricket Clu: Visit: