A handful of aspiring young cricketers have been joined by some of the country’s biggest hitters as they tried to “blast” a ball into space to launch Cricket Australia’s new kids program Woolworths Cricket Blast.
Big Bash League heroes Chris Lynn, Peter Handscomb, Alyssa Healy, Ash Gardner and Nic Carey today climbed CSIRO’s radio telescope in the New South Wales country town of Parkes, to re-enact the famous cricket scene from the iconic movie The Dish, a story of Australia’s involvement in the 1969 moon landing.
The movie saw two engineers turn the giant radio telescope, used for beaming live television pictures of the Apollo 11 mission to the world, into a makeshift cricket pitch. Today that scene was recreated as kids from across country New South Wales faced the cricket stars in a match upon the giant structure.
Children from towns across New South Wales including Parkes, Orange, Dubbo, Condoblin, Forbes and Cowra, challenged the Big Bash stars to hit the ball as far as they could from the dish and ‘blast’ a ball into space .
Brisbane Heat star, and one of the world’s biggest hitters, Chris Lynn said: “I didn’t quite get the ball into orbit, but it was a great experience. I’ve played cricket in lots of places. In the backyard, the driveway, inside the house, but never on top of a radio telescope. This was amazing.”
Woolworths Cricket Blast is a fun, fast program for girls and boys of all abilities between the ages of 5 to 10 to learn new skills and play Australia’s favourite sport, while experiencing the same energy and excitement associated with Big Bash cricket.
The program consists of two levels; Junior Blasters and Master Blasters and is delivered at over 2,000 centres around Australia including regional areas like Parkes.
Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager of Community Cricket, Belinda Clark said the new program demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to providing Australian kids with fun and engaging cricket experiences.
“We are always looking for new ways to encourage more girls and boys to pick up a bat and ball and gain enjoyment from the game, and this program is a great introduction to the game. We have also focussed on supporting the clubs that run the program to ensure our resources for parents and volunteers are first rate,” Ms Clark said.
“With support from Woolworths, we believe the new Cricket Blast program will really appeal to kids around Australia this summer. It is fast, exciting and importantly everyone can take part.”
Commenting on the unique cricket visit to Parkes, Dr Douglas Bock, Director of Astronomy and Space Science for CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, said the dish could inspire many young Australians in many fields, including aspiring cricketers.
“Not only is it used everyday by astronomers around the world to explore our universe, it’s also a source of inspiration for many people – including young cricketers – encouraging them to make the ‘impossible’ possible,” Dr Bock said.
The Woolworths Cricket Blast program will begin across the country this month