Cricket club takes on 17,000 kilometre trek Down Under in coronavirus lockdown walk

PUBLISHED: 16:23 29 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:24 29 April 2020

Julie Pope, secretary of Chatteris Cricket Club, with Chris Pope and their two dogs. Picture: FACEBOOK/CHATTERIS CRICKET CLUB

Julie Pope, secretary of Chatteris Cricket Club, with Chris Pope and their two dogs. Picture: FACEBOOK/CHATTERIS CRICKET CLUB

Archant

One of Fenland’s sports clubs is keeping occupied during the coronavirus lockdown by going on a ‘virtual’ walk... to Australia.

First team wicketkeeper Connor Morton (left) and fellow first team player Max Kelly are taking on the challenge. Pictures: FACEBOOK/CHATTERIS CRICKET CLUBFirst team wicketkeeper Connor Morton (left) and fellow first team player Max Kelly are taking on the challenge. Pictures: FACEBOOK/CHATTERIS CRICKET CLUB

Chatteris Cricket Club started to take their first steps towards Canterbury Cricket Club, located 16,672 kilometres away in the suburbs of Melbourne on Monday (April 27).

Players and non-playing members are being encouraged to take on the trek, with the aim of staying positive during testing times.

Julie Pope, secretary of Chatteris Cricket Club, said: “We floated the idea amongst the management committee and Nathan Brennan, our chairman, came up with Canterbury Cricket Club in Australia as they have the same initials as us.

“We are awarding kilometres for walks, runs, cycling in accordance with current Government guidelines, plus any other activities such as gardening, housework, or decorating.

Connor Morton takes to the bike for the virtual challenge. Picture: FACEBOOK/CHATTERIS CRICKET CLUBConnor Morton takes to the bike for the virtual challenge. Picture: FACEBOOK/CHATTERIS CRICKET CLUB

“Bonus kilometres will be awarded for unusual or entertaining activities and for any cricket-related activities. The more unusual the better.

“We have let the local ECB associations and contacts know our plans, so who knows, perhaps others will join in or start their own challenge.”

Participants will travel to several capital cities across the world, from Paris and Vienna to Istanbul and Bangkok, before arriving Down Under for the final stretch between Darwin and Canterbury.

Ahead of the club’s ‘visit’, they received a welcome reply from the Australian outfit, which hinted at the possibility of a friendly match after the lockdown has been lifted.

Chatteris Cricket Club will hope to get back to a normal day of play like this. Picture: SUPPLIEDChatteris Cricket Club will hope to get back to a normal day of play like this. Picture: SUPPLIED

A Canterbury Cricket Club spokesperson said: “What a fantastic initiative for Chatteris Cricket Club to be involved in during these challenging times!

“Perhaps we could meet you halfway or we could walk in the other direction? With the AFL season on hold over here, many of our players and members are looking for something to do as well and exercise seems like an ideal solution.”

They added: “Good luck with your long hike and I look forward to talking to you more in the coming weeks.”

The English cricket season this summer may be in doubt, but by doing this challenge, Chatteris will try to provide other benefits aside from playing for both the town and the wider community.

Julie said: “We decided to take on our ‘virtual’ walk to keep the club together as we can’t play any games, can’t organise any nets or practice.

“We have asked people to take pictures and videos as they do things - we plan to put these on our website and social media pages.

“We hope that it brings benefits of general fitness, getting people to think about staying active and it will hopefully support everyone’s mental wellbeing during this very difficult time.

“As with many other local clubs and businesses, we want to keep in touch and let people know we are still here and will still be here at the end of these difficult circumstances.”

For more information, visit Chatteris Cricket Club’s Facebook page or go to https://www.strava.com/clubs/chatteris-town-cricket-club-640351.


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