Cricketers test defence life

Published on CAPT Anna-Lise Brink (author), SGT Kirk Peacock (photographer)

Location(s): Enoggera, QLD

Topic(s): Cricket

Alex Blackwell (left), Flight Lieutenant Nisha Balasingam, Ashleigh Gardener, Able Seaman Chelsea Veney and Lauren Cheatle (right) pose for a photograph during the Australian Women Cricket Teams over water obstacle course training.  (photo: SGT Kirk Peacock)
Alex Blackwell (left), Flight Lieutenant Nisha Balasingam, Ashleigh Gardener, Able Seaman Chelsea Veney and Lauren Cheatle (right) pose for a photograph during the Australian Women Cricket Teams over water obstacle course training.
Members of the Australian women’s cricket team were taken out of their comfort zone during a military training session with players from the Australian Defence Force women’s cricket team at Gallipoli Barracks on 14 September.
 
The Australian players took part in a military pool physical training session that included the over-water obstacle course. They also rode in an Australian Light Armoured Vehicle, tried on a bomb protection suit, and toured the Weapons Training Simulation System.
 
Australian Vice-Captain Alex Blackwell said the experience would help the team in the lead-up to the upcoming Ashes series.
 
“Usually we’re hitting cricket balls and throwing stumps down. Obviously, this is very different,” Ms Blackwell said.
 
“Experiencing these new conditions and how we respond to them as individuals and as a group puts us in a good place to be able to respond to whatever circumstances arrive in that cricket test match.”
 
Eleven female Australian Defence Force players, including Lieutenant Melanie Pring of Navy Cricket, joined in to give the Australian players a taste of military life.
 
“It’s great to see professional sportswomen confronted with our day-to-day life,” Lieutenant Pring said.
 
“The girls have come in very positive and have had a couple of new experiences, which they’ve made the most of.”
 
The Australian cricketers were invited to experience military training after they mentored female Defence players during a cricket training session in 2015.
 
Since then Australian players have been back for additional coaching sessions with individual Defence cricket teams.
 
Lieutenant Pring said the continuing relationship had major benefits.
 
“We’re trying to develop our game, and these girls are ground-breaking – everything they’re doing is brand new for Australia, so it’s just really good to have that relationship,” Lieutenant Pring said.
 
Ms Blackwell said she hoped to continue building strong connections with Defence Cricket.
 
“It’s so great to see Australian Defence Force cricket growing strong,” she said.
 
“Just to hear Defence members picking up cricket for the first time and having a great experience with it is very encouraging.”