The NSW Baggy Blues have hit a six for mental health awareness in Cootamundra, hosting a coaching clinic and a T20 game.
The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program has partnered with the Baggy Blues to undertake a regional tour aiming to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and promote available assistance.
Former and current NSW cricket players teamed up with the Cootamundra District Cricket Association to host a T20 game, with the Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke tossing the coin at the start of the match.
Ms Cooke said the Baggy Blues tour visiting Cootamundra was a great boost to community spirits and a fun way to raise awareness of an important issue.
“So many people in our community look up to sportspeople, so it’s wonderful we have these professional cricketers speaking out as ambassadors for mental health,” Ms Cooke said.
“It’s so important we have these open conversations that it’s ok to ask for help and the mental health services that are available.”
“In a town like Cootamundra with such a strong cricketing heritage this is a great way to get that message across.”
Secretary Treasurer of the Cootamundra District Cricket Association Pat Kerin said the Baggy Blues tour was a fantastic opportunity for local players.
“This is so exciting for all of us, particularly the local cricketers,” Mr Kerin said.
“There were two under 16s playing in each team and it’s a very exciting time for these kids that at age of 15 or 16 they’re getting to play with some very talented cricketers.”
“On Wednesday night we had a dinner with 100 people attending, and Thursday morning we 75 people at a mental health breakfast which is a fantastic turn out.”
The match coincided with the unveiling of three new busts on the Cootamundra Captain’s Walk, bringing the monument to the Australian Men’s Test Cricket team captains up to date.