Community

Going in to bat for Indian kids

HOWZAT: Students (from left) Damon Isaacs, Thomas Sotiriadis and Jack Miller and Men’s Shed men Terry Carter, Col James and Ted Wedmaier.
HOWZAT: Students (from left) Damon Isaacs, Thomas Sotiriadis and Jack Miller and Men’s Shed men Terry Carter, Col James and Ted Wedmaier. Rob Williams

A COLLABORATION across the ages is aiming to even the score for disadvantaged children in India.

The project was generated from a school trip to India by three St Edmund's College students.

They were amazed to see little children with disabilities playing cricket using old thongs as bats.

After they returned, one of the students, Thomas Sotiriadis, told his grandfather Errol Elliott and he did something about it.

"We've previously gone to East Timor and Samoa but we were invited to go to India this year with another Edmund Rice school. Luckily we were selected to travel over there with them," Thomas said.

"One of the things we saw was kids playing cricket and having to use sandals and Frisbees."

It struck them about the gulf of difference between them and the Indian children.

He told his grandfather Errol Elliott - a St Edmund's Old Boy - and he contacted the Ipswich Men's Shed at Bundamba.

The shed is a place for men to socialise, share their skills and remain active in the community.

Men's Shed secretary Col James said the men in the shed were more than happy to help.

The first step was making a prototype that could be used by all people. Some of the child cricketers in India have no legs.

"Obviously you can't buy these in any sport stores," he said with a laugh. "They were made to order.

"We've got band saws, we've got lathes, so basically we had some timber that we ripped into shape and made our own bats.

"Someone came up with the idea of putting bike inner-tubes on to the handles, which was a tricky part in itself.

"I wasn't involved in that part; I was involved in making handles on the lathe."

The genius step came after he thought, Okay we've got 30 bats; now do we carry 30 bats?

"I came up with the idea of boxes which hold bats and balls and become the stumps. I've patented this idea so if Nike wants them…" he said.

Yesterday, the Men's Shed representatives presented them to the school to take to India.

Teacher Bernie Wong said the trip to India "opened the boys' eyes to what is out there; outside their own little world".

"These three gentlemen were able to come back and share what they saw with the other students," Mr Wong said. "And that's extended to the Men's Shed as well. It's a phenomenal experience for the young men and life-changing for all of us."

Topics:  st edmund's college




Low IQ spares convicted child abuser time behind bars

GUILTY: Bradley Clinton Seager-Hanslow, 23 has been sentenced to three year's probation after being found guilty of child sex offences by a jury.

He asked a girl to be "his secret girlfriend" before touching her

Partygoer's night ends with injury

Emergency Services, Ambulance, QAS,  Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

Paramedics called to the scene

Knife-wielding robbers on the run

Police generic, crime scene.  Photo Tessa Mapstone / South Burnett Times

Dog squad called to Ipswich service station

Latest deals and offers

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

10 things to do this weekend

Luke Heggie is appearing at the Ipswich Civic Centre as part of the 2016 Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase

Looking for something to do in Ipswich this weekend?

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Australia Post to open at Orion

Australia Post.

Service to open to customers in late August

Town with 'unique country flair' will be ruined: resident

Jonathan Emms of Rosewood is concerned about a proposed townhouse development for this John Street block of land.

Residents concerned by high density development proposal

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb