THE North West Sydney Bluetongues are more than a talented cricket team.
A 40-member squad, including family members, left for Sri Lanka on a goodwill tour early this month to play three games on the cricket-crazy island.
Despite a busy school life and training they raised funds around the Hills and western Sydney to purchase cricket equipment for needy children in Sri Lanka and also for the Foundation of Goodness, which is backed by former Sri Lanka Test stars, including Hills-based Russell Arnold.
The Bluetongues are this week’s nominees for the Junior Sports Star team spirit award.
“Thanks to the efforts of the parents and the boys we raised $10,000 which we will gift to the Foundation of Goodness charity which assists underprivileged children in a number of areas including education and sports,” spokesman Ross Banno said.
The invitational side features division one or representative players who faced opponents in Kandy, Jaffna and Galle and are doing plenty of travelling around the island and making friends.
Test cricket great Doug Walters is the patron of the Hills-based Bluetongues while Ettamogah Hotel, Kellyville Ridge, is the main sponsor of the tour.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime tour for the children who will be able to see how lucky they are and that they can make a difference,” Bluetongues spokesman Glenn Smith said.
The tour is the brainchild of Brett Thomas who lived in Sri Lanka for a year.
Team: Blake Benge, Tallis Smith, Liam Dodds, Jayden Alchin, Phil Banno, Jayden Webb, AJ Calvert, Joel Mercer, Josh Martin, Brentan Smith, Ben Roughan and Charlie Tribolet. Coach: Jason Benge.
The Junior Sports Star awards are sponsored by Rebel while Fox Sports Pulse sponsors the team spirit awards.
Check out their video on their Sri Lanka tour: http://bit.ly/29BTVbZ