'It's great': CQ sporting club wins state award
CRICKET: Robbie Garrett is a proud indigenous man who is passionate about inclusiveness.
It is the reason why, on his return to Rockhampton five years ago, he helped establish the Rocky Heat Cricket Club.
It is understandable, then, that he was "over the moon” when Rocky Heat won Queensland Cricket's Community Club of the Year for its work within the indigenous cricket community.
The club received a signed Brisbane Heat cricket bat and a framed certificate for their achievement.
LifeStream Australia won the Partner Organisation of the Year for their work in Rockhampton, where they were instrumental in helping deliver Queensland Cricket's school programs for students with disabilities.
Garrett, president of Rocky Heat since its foundation, said it was brilliant for the club to win such a significant award.
"It's great, it's a great feeling,” he said.
"It's brought a real vibe into the club and given us a big boost. This is a huge award - the whole state was competing for it and we got it so I'm over the moon.
"For me personally, it's a great honour and rates as one of my greatest achievements.
"This club has generated so much interest in the community.
"It's something I've always wanted, our people being part of a mainstream competition.”
The Rocky Heat men's team played in the Rockhampton Cricket Association's second division competition in the 2018/19 season.
They only won two games but Garrett said the team was always competitive and highly regarded by opposition teams.
He believes the players' involvement in cricket was also having a positive flow-on effect in their general lives.
"It's really like a men's group. It's somewhere for us to meet, talk and have fun.
"Cricket's also a sport where age doesn't matter and we've had situations where fathers and sons and three sets of brothers have played together.”
Rocky Heat, with Garrett as the main driver, also delivers the annual Stan Alberts Shield, one of the biggest indigenous carnivals in the state.
It started with six teams in 2016 but this year drew 20 teams for the four-day event at Kalka Shades.
There was competition in youth, men's and over-45 men's divisions and, for the first time, an all-women's division which was a first for Central Queensland.
Garrett said that Rockhampton Cricket and Queensland Cricket had been incredibly supportive of the club and were instrumental in helping it achieve what it had.
Queensland Cricket's Kade Horan, cricket manager - Central Queensland, said the honour was well deserved.
"The club has worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for indigenous men, women and children to be exposed to cricket at the club level for many years,” he said.
"They have become renowned for their inclusive outlook on the sport, ensuring that inclusivity and diversity is embraced through cricket.
"They're a credit not only to cricket in Rockhampton but to the community in Rockhampton as well.”