Australian cricketers visit Goodna
SHANE Watson and the Australian cricket team put plenty of smiles on the faces of Goodna State School students yesterday.
The entire Australian squad took part in flood-relief activities at Goodna State School and Ipswich Mall, which included signing sessions and cricket clinics.
Watson, born and raised in Ipswich, was deeply moved by the internet images that he saw of Goodna during the flood, so he made a flying visit to the area the day after scoring 161 not out at the MCG in the opening one-day international against England.
He desperately wanted to bring the rest of his teammates to the region to lift the spirits of the people, and yesterday was an ideal opportunity to do exactly that.
“It is a great thing for Australian cricket that we as a team could come out here and show our support, because no doubt it has been absolutely devastating for the people around Goodna,” Watson said.
“I was talking to one of the teachers before and she said they were still trying to track down some of the students that were here last year.... because their houses have been destroyed.
“I couldn't imagine what these families are going through and the schools that are trying to bring everyone together to try and bring back normality to their lives.”
Watson was also quick to point out that the floods have taught him about perspective and the responsibility that comes with his privileged position as an international cricketer.
“It put my life into perspective more than anything,” Watson said.
“There are things that I can learn. Life is bigger and greater than a cricket game, even though I absolutely love playing it. To see the devastation that has been around Goodna is something that you couldn't have imagined in your lifetime,” Watson said.
“Everyone's hearts go out to these people whose lives have been turned upside down.”
The cricket community has moved swiftly into action to assist flood victims and that will con- tinue in the one-day international in Brisbane tomorrow.
“It is going to be a very emotional day to be part of. Hopefully we can lift and get over the line, because to win the series here would be brilliant.”