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Howzat! Newcastle launches junior winter cricket competition

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If you thought your son or daughter was throwing their pads and gloves into the cupboard until summer, you’re in for a rude shock.

For the first time, the Community Cricket Newcastle will launch its inaugural winter competition this weekend.

And, 14-year-old Billy Mcilveen, who can now play his favourite sport all-year round, has his dad, Scott, to thank.

Fed up with youngsters needing to head to Sydney during the cooler months to take guard at the crease, the local father set about creating his own T20 format in the region.

With the support of the Newcastle Cricket Academy, led by founder and head coach Tommy Anderson, Mcilveen was prepared to run one himself.

His motivation: to keep talent local and progress their skills through the winter if serious about their cricket pathways.

Thankfully, Cricket NSW came to the party, recognising the need and demand for it and assisting with the administration of the new competition.

“It became apparent to me that a lot of junior cricketers were being forced to travel to Sydney each weekend if they wanted to continue their cricket in the off-season,” Mcilveen said.

“Not only can this be a burden on families, but it means our local talent can’t continue to hone their skills locally.

“As with any sport, if you don’t want to lose your skills in between seasons, you need to keep working at them… and game play is the best for this.

“So, I set about gauging interest and feedback, as my 14-year-old son Billy wanted to keep playing.”

As a result, Newcastle’s maiden six-week competition kicks off on Sunday 5 May.

Under-12s, under-14s, under-16s and girls will contest T20 divisions at Lake Macquarie.

“Despite other winter sports, such as AFL, already being played on a Sunday, we have had a good response,” Mcilveen said.

“With this being our first season, we are hoping to grow the competition in the future.

“But, we are really excited about getting this off the ground for our local junior cricketers and I thank Cricket NSW for their assistance.”

To join, go to https://www.playhq.com/cricket-australia/register/dfa64f

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