DreamCricket was initiated by Dr Roly Bigg from the Movement Disorder Foundation in association with the Rotary clubs of the Southern Highlands and The Bradman Foundation. The original aim was to provide an opportunity for primary school students with a disability to develop their fine motor skills and build self-esteem as well as the chance to play on the Bradman Oval and visit the Bradman International Cricket Hall of Fame.

The program has grown to encompass schools and children throughout Australia and internationally.

DreamCricket clinics are conducted in schools as part of an experience culminating in a DreamCricket Gala Day on a well-known local oval involving all schools within the area. Rick McCarthy of The Bradman Foundation and a member of the Rotary Club of Bowral Mittagong, NSW, spread the message across Australia.

For the past 12 years, the three Rotary clubs in Orange, NSW, have participated in the program, with eight schools and over 100 students attending each year it is held.

In Canberra, the Rotary Club of Canberra Sunrise, ACT, has been running DreamCricket Gala Days and clinics for District 9705 for the past 10 years. The club is also the DreamCricket coordinator for Southeast NSW.

The 2023 Gala Day was held on Main Oval at Canberra Grammar School on November 17. Some 60 primary school students from six local schools enjoyed a day of adaptive cricket in a fun and supportive environment.

The participating schools with their teachers and carers each arrived to a tumultuous welcome with the Grammar Big Band in full swing and a guard of honour provided by junior students from Grammar.
The event was attended by Their Excellencies Governor-General David Hurley and Mrs Hurley and, in opening the event, the Governor-General reminded everyone of our cricketing history and its continuing high profile in our sporting culture. He also mentioned that Australia’s One Day International team had overnight qualified for the World Cup final, which received a raucous response.

Following the opening ceremony, the budding young cricketers, each wearing new cricket hats, took to the field with a level of enthusiasm that would have been the envy of any coach. Under the watchful eye of DreamCricket Coordinator George Huitker and his team of assistants, together with some 40 student mentors from Grammar, the games began.

The first two sessions were about giving every participant the opportunity to gain confidence and develop skills, while the final session after lunch involved teams playing against each other with every student participating. His Excellency led from the front both with bat and ball, much to the delight of all attendees.

At the end of the day’s play, the tired but happy cricketers were each presented with a medallion by Canberra Meteor and Comets players to commemorate their participation and an icy pole to cool them down.

The Governor-General and Mrs Hurley had a terrific day meeting the students and took the opportunity to thank the volunteers for bringing the day and clinics to life.

MAIN PICTURE: The 2023 DreamCricket Gala Day was attended by His Excellency Governor-General David Hurley, who joined in the action, much to the delight of all attendees.