A collection of past and present NSW Blues players made the trip out to Wollongong last Wednesday and Thursday (30th and 31st March) with the mission to promote mental health awareness and provide access to the game of cricket within the local community.

The Baggy Blues, the past players association, has this season partnered with the Cricket NSW Foundation, the charitable arm of Cricket NSW, to help deliver two visits to regional NSW.

This event marked the 15th visit from the Baggy Blues to a rural community and included current players such as Matt Gilkes, Chris Tremain, Liam Hatcher, Hunar Verma and Josh Baraba. They were accompanied by past players Rick McCosker, Steve Rixon, Gavin Robertson, Steve Small, Wayne Holdsworth, Charlotte Anneveld and Michelle Goszko.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t hold out, meaning the players couldn’t deliver the junior cricket clinic and cricket match. However, the Mental Health dinner hosted by the Baggy Blues in partnership with RAMPH was a great success.

The dinner - held in conjunction with Cricket Illawarra at the Fraternity Club – promoted the importance of mental health within the cricket and wider community.

Phil Marks who played 13 first class matches for the Blues between 1983 and 1990 was pleased to report the trip was well supported by the locals.

“It was so good to again witness the interaction between the past players and the younger brigade,” said Marks. “I know that they love hearing the stories of the past and connecting with the youngsters is such an important part of what we’re trying to achieve.”

The two Baggy Blues trips to regional NSW have been made possible thanks to funds raised by the Australian Club during a charity match held at the SCG in February.

The Cricket NSW Foundation would like to thank the Australian Club for their contributions that continue to help provide access to the game of cricket across NSW.