One Kid One Club
Time passes quickly.
One moment you’re a young kid taking your first steps in cricket – everything and everyone seems so much bigger than you. Remember what it was like to put on batting pads for the first time? Or picking up a bat that was way too big for you, so much so that it felt like a plank of wood? That’s how it probably was for Mark when he joined the QRJCC Under 10’s shortly after arriving in Australia. He’s pictured in the back row of the photo below with his team mates from his first year of junior cricket, proudly holding his bat (which looks like it was the right size for him!).
Mark took to cricket. So much so that he continued to play, year after year, slowing getting to know his own game and steadily improving with each passing season.
Mark’s Dad, Brian, became his Team Coach in Under 11’s. In choosing to volunteer, Brian also began a journey of his own, and he would coach Mark and his teammates for the next six years, making a significant contribution to the development of the next generation of Quinns Rocks Junior Cricketers. Mark, meanwhile, continued to grow in confidence on the cricket field. Check him out in his pink sunnies in his Under 11 team photo.
The photos that were taken by family and friends as Mark continued on through junior cricket show that Mark’s skills as a cricketer were also developing. He was on his way to becoming a very accomplished all-rounder, someone that could make a contribution to the team through batting, bowling and fielding.
Under 13’s is the halfway point of the junior cricket journey and by this stage Mark had been playing cricket with some of his mates for 4 seasons. By Under 15’s, Mark’s side had grown in size as more and more players came to be part of the team.
As Mark reached Under 15’s he found himself playing even more cricket. He had a few games here and there for the Seniors, and by Under 16’s Mark was able to play a full season of junior cricket in addition to 12 games of senior cricket. He performed outstandingly well against adult players, picking up 36 wickets at the incredible average of 8.53 – good enough to win a trophy for his efforts. He also played in a senior semi final, adding to his all-round cricket experience.
Importantly, Mark’s longevity at his junior club was recognised when he was one of four players to be awarded Junior Life Membership by the Quinns Rocks Junior Cricket Club in recognition of reaching the 80 Game Milestone. As Under 17’s rolled around, Mark found himself as Captain of a very capable team of young cricketers, most of whom were regularly playing two games (or more) of cricket every weekend.
Mark’s Dad, pictured at the far right, was still involved and has now become the Team Manager for the Under 17’s.
Mark got to take part in the first ever QRJCC Under 17 Derby, which took place at Anthony Waring Reserve in Clarkson. It must have been a proud moment for Mark to go out to the centre wicket to toss the coin with ‘opposing’ Team Captain Callum Morrell, after having come so far with the Club.
Mark, along with fellow Under 17’s Byron Reid, Ryan Ferguson and Callum Morrell were invited to the WACA to receive medallions in recognition of the many years of service they had given to junior cricket.
Accolades in senior cricket also kept coming for Mark in his final season as a junior. After the disappointment of playing in a losing One Day Grand Final, Mark sailed through an E Grade Semi Final, before claiming 3 for 13 in a superb bowling performance in the Grand Final a week later.
Mark leaves junior cricket with a long list of accomplishments, a series of wonderful achievements, a huge collection of friends and mates and the respect of everyone who has played alongside or against him. He leaves with 92 games, 800 runs and 65 wickets in junior cricket alone, not to mention seniors!
Time passes quickly.
One moment you’re a young kid taking your first steps in cricket...