For more than 65 years, Col Berry has been involved with cricket and his long-standing commitment to the sport was recognised recently when he was named Australia’s Community Cricket Champion.
Nominated by his daughter Janelle Tarrant, she said it’s an accolade well-deserved for her father, acknowledging that “sometimes the people who do a lot don’t often get recognised”.
“He is definitely deserving of it and I’m immensely proud but I’ve always been immensely proud of everything he’s done,” she said.
Col has been involved in cricket since he was 15 years old. A previous owner of the Indoor Cricket Centre in Queanbeyan, Col was also involved with running outdoor coaching clinics for young cricket fans for many years. He said it was humbling to be recognised as the Community Cricket Champion.
In terms of volunteer hours, he said it’s “amazing” how much time he has spent with cricket.
“When you were involved like I was, you get immune to people being aware of what you are doing or not doing,” he said. “It’s become so thoroughly enjoyable over the years, I just don’t think about what you’re going to do next, it’s all just cricket.”
Now aged 80, Col still loves his cricket and, despite having a hip replacement a few years ago and being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, has set his goal to play for the Over 70s ACT cricket team at the next Masters Championships.
He last played a game in 2017 and admits he has some work to do to be strong enough to play, but it is a goal supported by his family.
Janelle said her father initially aimed to play with the ACT U60s in 2017, which he did, and “we thought that was going to be the end of it”. But she admits it “gives him a goal and a focus as well”.
For being named Community Cricket Champion by Specsavers, Col, as well as members of the ACT Over 60s team and Queanbeyan junior cricketers, were treated to a training session with cricketing great, Ian Healy, and Australian cricketers Billy Stanlake and Delissa Kimmince at Queanbeyan District Cricket Club.