Young Indigenous cricketers begin historic tour
A team of Indigenous cricketers were today presented with their representative caps as they prepare to retrace the steps of the first Australian cricket team to tour England.
The 1868 Indigenous team is widely acknowledged as the first sporting team to compete under the national Australian banner.
The National Indigenous Development Squad consists of 14 talented young cricketers, aged between 16 and 26.
The cricketers have been training at Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, and will fly to London on Saturday for a month-long tour.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin and Minister for Sport Kate Ellis today wished the cricketers the best of luck as they left on their historic journey.
“This is an exciting opportunity for these young men to follow in the footsteps of the 1868 team, playing at many of the same venues,” Ms Macklin said.
“While in Brisbane, the team participated in the Australian Government’s Indigenous Leadership Program, with subjects in leadership, vision and goal setting, and values.
“This adds to the benefits of this tour for these young Indigenous cricketers, who will come back to their families and communities having learnt a great deal about their history, cricket, and leadership.”
The team trained with cricketing great Matt Hayden who is committed to promoting Indigenous players, including launching the successful CricKids educational program earlier this year.
Ms Ellis praised the work of Cricket Australia and said “Indigenous sporting leaders become role models who encourage and inspire other young men and women to make their mark in Australian sport,” Ms Ellis said.