For those not aware, DreamCricket was initiated by the Movement Disorder Foundation in concert with the Rotary Clubs of the Southern Highlands and the Bradman Foundation. The aim is to provide an opportunity for primary school students with a disability to play on the Bradman Oval and to 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 Day on a significant local oval involving all schools within the area.

Every child should have the opportunity to play cricket!

Rick McCarthy of The Bradman Foundation and a member of the Rotary Club of Bowral Mittagong is spreading the message across Australia. Read some more about the fantastic and exhausting work Rick McCarthy has experienced in the last couple of weeks while he travels the country setting up DreamCricket sessions. Click on "More..." below to read his reports.

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Dream Cricket Report for 12th to 15th August 2013

This week was a week to consolidate plans for programs in towns not visited in the past. Some Rotary Clubs battle in their endeavours to convince the schools to allow us to do the program. We are still hearing "our kids can't play cricket".

The Newcastle area clubs who were listed have requested another week later in the year. This has enabled me to catch up on the paper work from clinics held so far, recording details of clubs and schools who participated. This has included compiling post clinic reports, and sending host clubs DCI "letters of thanks" and "appreciation certificates” for them to send to the participating schools to the high school students who do a great job and are an integral part of the program.

Recording this information is important for us to keep in touch with the schools and clubs, hopefully with a quarterly newsletter, for the regular introduction of new activities and to keep them informed of what is happening with DreamCricket in general and when the DreamCricket Days are coming to their area.

This all came into its own today when PDG Brian Pattinson and I had an appointment at Parliament House where we met with the Hon. Graham Annesley MP, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Marc Landrigan his Policy Adviser and Warren Hudson Adviser to the Office for Disability Services.

This was a very fruitful meeting where they offered to indicate their support of the DreamCricket program to all Special schools and main stream schools with Special units. They will look into possible funds available for our DreamCricket kits for some schools and advise us of extra funding possibilities and others opportunities which may be available.

They asked us for our budget and for any comments from schools expressed to date in the way of a reference on the benefits of the program to their children. This information is readily available.

Discussion took place regarding the possibility of the utilisation of 11 Sport and Recreation centres throughout NSW during school holidays, integrating DreamCricket with their programs and similarly with a new program run at Homebush called “Kids in the Park”.

We extended an invitation for him to join us on our Bowral DreamCricket Day, 25th October 2013.

The date was clear in his diary and "a good possibility at this time" according to his reply.

Brian has also received a letter from the Minister for Education with a request to meet with his advisors to explain the DreamCricket program and its benefits.

What a great week for the program and pleasing I'm sure for Brian to see the MANY hours of work on the computer, networking and completing applications for grants, now not only coming to fruition but creating a reaction from such a high level.

Congratulations Brian and thanks from DCI.     

Yours in Cricket,

Rick McCarthy, Cricket Ambassador, Bradman Foundation



Dream Cricket Report for 5th to 8th August 2013

From the sunny coast of northern NSW to the icy regions of our alpine areas.

Monday. This week started in Belvoir-Wodonga, just over the border. With the dropping temperatures it gave me the opportunity to show the versatility of the program.

Indoors and in an area no bigger than a demountable building. With the equipment strategically placed so that no group was hitting into another and a down grade from plastic balls to sponge/stress balls, the program worked a treat.

We also changed the program, for 60 children, to two 2-hourly sessions, 36 and 24 participating, instead of one.

It was noisy with shouts of joy and laughter bouncing off the walls but it didn't dampen the activities nor the enthusiasm of the game to complete each session. With the addition of 13 teachers and aides, 8 Rotarians and 14 high school students from Wodonga Catholic College everyone had a great time.

Tuesday was still cold and wet, so again we ventured indoors at Hume school, North Albury. A larger hall which gave the 45 participants more room to swing and run, however the noise volume also increased as did the enthusiasm. 7 teachers and aides from 3 schools assisted with 5 Rotarian group managers and 12 high school student activity managers, all giving the children a time to remember.

After finishing and before moving on to Wagga Wagga, I visited another school with children with autism spectrum disorder. They had missed out but are now booked in for a clinic with 40 children from Albury and Wagga branch combined in October when I return to the area.

Wednesday, ground still soaked from overnight rain so we were again in a hall, with compliments of the Labour government. Four schools, 60 students participating with 17 teachers and aides, 14 Rotarians (8 on group activity duty and 6 on sausage sizzle lunch catering).

Tolland School is main stream primary as well as a large special section, so we had 10 year 6 students who ran the activities and did it well. Some were a little difficult to sight amongst the participants as all were of a similar height.

A break for recess in between the rotations and the Rotarians were spoilt with morning tea in the staff room with the table looking like a children’s birthday party of nibbles and sweets.

The "run out" game to finish was under the pergola, a sausage or two and a presentation of caps for all from Wollundry Wagga Wagga Rotary.

I stayed in town and drove to Tumut Thursday morning. Cold but fine. A large undercover area was perfect for the 14 children who were participating. They were invited to Wagga but however were unable to attend due to other commitments and requested a visit on my way home.

It was good to see such a small group with a broad variety of ages. The older ones were caring, looking out for and assisting the younger ones. Four wheel chairs being included in everything using the extension T's and larger balls I carry.

The local primary school sent a couple as well and all mixed in, with the teacher saying "she had never seen them having so much fun together". With everyone enjoying it so much the program was extended somewhat, however it sadly had to come to an end at lunch and rest time.

Andrew Newton, Rotary club of Tumut presented Liz Rose, principal, with a cheque to purchase a DreamCricket school kit for Gadara Special School and a Sticky Wicky for the two children from the Primary school. These will be sent to them by DreamCricket International.

Another very successful and humbling week. 

Yours in Cricket,

Rick McCarthy, Cricket Ambassador, Bradman Foundation





Dream Cricket Report for 29th July to 2nd August, 2013

This week has been such a great step forward for DreamCricket.

I drove to Brisbane Saturday, enjoying the slow change in temperature from 6am to 6pm.

Sunday was spent contacting those concerned with the Inaugural DreamCricket clinic to be held by the Rotary Club of Port of Brisbane.

Monday at Darling Point Special School, Manly. 92 children, 40 Middle school in the morning and 52 senior in the afternoon.

The day was a huge success with both the Federal and State members in attendance with corporate sponsor Caltex Lytton Refinery, Queensland Cricket representative, PDG Des Lawson, Rotary Down Under chair and of course an army of Rotary assists and sausage chefs. Iona High School students did an excellent job as activity managers and all children went home with a DreamCricket cap and a smile on their face. Plenty of conversation regarding a DreamCricket Day on the Gabba at the end of this cricket season with in excess of 400 children.

Tuesday, I was off to Toowoomba for an early start, setting up from 8am. Clifford Park Special School were contacted mid last week and were willing to see how the program runs. 15 minutes into the day and the compliments were flying and enquiries made about when the follow-up clinics will occur. They ordered some of the equipment and were overwhelmed when Rotary said they would donate a kit now offered to all schools who participate with over 10 children.  Toowoomba Grammar supplied the High School students who were truly humbled by their experience and offered their services any time we were in Toowoomba. Another 65 happy children.

Wednesday, with a 5.30 am start to set up ready to go by 9 am in Currumbin Waters. With all the equipment in use, the sun shining, laughter and cries of joy another 32 children, 15 assistants were having the time of their life asking when we were coming back to the Gold Coast.

Rotary Club of Murwillumbah, which had a little difficulty in getting schools to participate now realised they understood and appreciated the program and had the confidence to talk to schools. We had an appointment with an Early Development school attached to the Tweed Hospital which was sold very quickly after seeing the CD and a short chat. They offered to work with Rotary as they have many contacts in the schools along the coast.

Thursday and up to Lismore for another 2 hours of fun and excitement. Smaller numbers, around 20, but the reactions were very similar to every other day. Wilson Park Special School are now convinced and will assist Rotary Club of Goonellabah in spreading the good news to the other schools. Kadina High School year 10 students got involved managing each station and wanted the program to continue. I guess we all prefer to be out playing instead of a double Maths class. Heading down the mountain I stayed in Ballina ready for my last session of the week.

Friday, 18 degrees at 7am. Southern Cross School, a very large school in East Ballina with Primary, Secondary, Distant Education and the Support Centre of which 48 of their students participated from year 3 to 12, with 15 assists.  Sun cream essential and energy slowing as the program progressed. A couple of drink breaks added.

A good finish to a very successful week. Their own High School students ran the stations and although the age range was wider than normal, everyone mixed in well. I finally got on the road at 1 pm to head home leaving the smiles behind, but the cheering and laughter, memories of the smiles and words of thanks keeping me awake until arriving back in 3 degree Bowral at 11 pm.

Next week South.    

Yours in Cricket,

Rick McCarthy, Cricket Ambassador, Bradman Foundation







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