IMPROVING COMMUNICATION: Joshua Wardell and Ben Ingram are relishing their volunteer roles at the Wolston Park Centenary Cricket Club.
IMPROVING COMMUNICATION: Joshua Wardell and Ben Ingram are relishing their volunteer roles at the Wolston Park Centenary Cricket Club. Contributed

Ben and Josh under the Gabba spotlight

TWO Ipswich locals with links to the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) will apply their skills in front of thousands of cricket fans at the Gabba on Sunday.

Ben Ingram and Joshua Wardell will run onto the hallowed pitch with 16 young Wolston Park Centenary Cricket Club (WPCCC) cricketers, who have been selected to provide on-field entertainment at the first Test between Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Ingram was appointed junior cricket manager of the WPCCC, while Mr Wardell works with the club's MILO In2Cricket program as a co-ordinator.

A student enrichment officer at USQ Ipswich, Mr Ingram said volunteering for a community organisation was a great opportunity for him to build his professional networks and continue developing his leadership and planning skills.

"By working with a community organisation, I get to find out a lot about club governance, volunteer management and community engagement," he said.

"I'm also learning heaps about coaching and mentoring while developing activities and programs from scratch which translates over to the work I do at USQ.

"Volunteering is one of the most rewarding things you can do on a personal level and the scope of your practice when volunteering is more comprehensive and can be spread across a number of roles."

Volunteering also has a number of fantastic benefits for university students.

Second year Bachelor of Education (Health and Physical Education - Primary) Mr Wardell said working with youngsters, aged 6-8, has helped him develop valuable skill.

These include such things as communication, behaviour management, problem solving and lesson planning, and the opportunity to integrate his studies with real work life experience.

"I want to teach HPE, so being involved in coaching and showing budding cricketers how to improve their game has given me the confidence and knowledge to be an effective leader and motivator," he said.

"This opportunity has allowed me to put the theory I'm learning at uni to use and has been a tremendous benefit to my studies."

Mr Wardell said the best part of his role was seeing the children gain confidence and enjoyment from learning to play cricket.

The emerging young cricketers will experience the biggest thrill of their life when they participate in a MILO In2Cricket demonstration at the lunch break on day four of the first Test match at the Gabba.

Mr Wardell said it was an amazing opportunity for him to help the kids further practise their skills in front of a huge crowd at one of the country's premier grounds.



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