08 October 2015
As rugby and football posts come down and the days get longer it’s almost time for summer sports to begin.
We scoured the sports fields to see how people are gearing up for the new season and found a cricket team taking their preparation to great lengths.
Normally a cricket practice involves a bat and bowl in the nets but the Eastern Suburbs Roosters training really caught our eye. Taking up a corner of Kilbirnie Park in Wellington, the team had a speed ball radar, measuring tape and cones set up while organiser Jamie Tansley wandered around with clip board and stop watch in hand.
The pre season training was enhanced by the maintenance work Eastern Suburbs Cricket Club has undertaken at Kilbirnie Park over the winter. The batting nets at the park have new astro surfaces and the netting has been fixed all ready for the new cricket season.
"I've been a bit lazy recently so wanted to start a new fitness regime and with the cricket season starting soon it was an easy way to get motivated," Tansley said.
It was quick to see that Tansley had not only motivated himself but his whole team and even a couple of youngsters who wanted to test their speed.
"The only way to know that you are improving is to get a base-line reading. So today we are testing bowling speed, throwing distance and speed over 40 metres. We will test again in a few weeks and see how we have improved," Tansley said.
While Tansley admits he hasn't organised a practice like this before, his reasoning is simple.
"It's about the desire to improve. I'm nearing 35 and my best sporting years are probably behind me. So I thought the earlier I start this year the better I can get. I'm happy with how it went, although a bit surprised at the bowling aspect - the readings were a little slower than I thought!"
Although it seems the next Shane Bond wasn't discovered, Tansley is keen to keep up the momentum with his team being promoted to a higher grade this season. While performing well is a key motivator the team are keen to just have fun and enjoy each and every game.
"I was glad to see everyone turn up and give it a go. It's a good sign to see everyone enthusiastic before the season has started," Tansley said.
How are you getting ready for your summer code? Email your story and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share and inspire others to gear up for summer sport.