Date of Event
National Indigenous Cricket Championships:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:00PM
Dan Christian was in the thick of the action at the Imparja Cup //
It’s sunny up in the Territory.
Hot, humid heat grips the prisoners of the Alice Springs Correctional Centre as they take to the field, but they are smiling.
In front of them stands Australian all-rounder Dan Christian, who has played 19 ODIs and 16 T20Is for his country, with bats, balls and stumps laying at his feet.
Soon, balls are flying through the air, as the players run through their drills set up by Christian, the captain of the National Indigenous team.
“Sport is important for all our men and women, but cricket is becoming a bit more of a passion than any other sport here at the jail,” Ian MacDowell Jones, the Sport and Recreation Officer at the Correctional Centre, said.
In the Northern Territory for the National Indigenous Cricket Championships, Christian was able to have a session with the Alice Springs Correctional Centre Eagles, who have been allowed to play outside the prison for the 25th Annual Imparja Cup.
Some bowling, some batting, but all smiling, Christian said the opportunity to work with the prisoners was a good experience.
“(They were) wonderful guys,” Christian said.
“They were very excited to meet someone that plays in the Big Bash and that they have seen play on TV, so it was nice to be able to give them a few tips and to help them out as much as I could.
“It was great to hear a little bit about the reintegration program and what they are doing here playing as part of the Imparja Cup which appears to be working really well for them.”
The Eagles play in the community division of the Cup, something which MacDowell Jones sees as important in their rehabilitation.
“Giving players the chance to participate in the Imparja Cup helps teach them about team building, sharing the load and taking responsibility for their actions,” he said.
“It also gives them a chance to get involved with a number of Indigenous outside programs… so that when they come out they’ve actually got that face to go to which just gives them a hand on the outside to stay clean, stay healthy and get pointed in the right direction.”
As the session finishes up, Christian shakes hands and takes photos with the prisoners, who were “over the moon” to have had him.
“They were all ecstatic about the opportunity to work with someone who is a professional in their field and to have someone who is willing to actually talk to them and show them some skills,” McDowell Jones said.
“They just lapped it up.”
by Dylan Carmody