Team scores on cultural wicket in Shepparton

By Madeleine Caccianiga

Cricket champions experienced Shepparton district’s diverse cultural background during a competition visit to the city this week.

Organised by the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District, the Victorian women’s team took part in a cultural tour of the GV Turkish Islamic Cultural Centre and Mosque in McLennan St, Mooroopna, and the Gurduara Sahib Sikh Place of Worship, Doyles Rd, Shepparton.

Cricket team coach Keith Jansz said although the girls were all born and bred in Australia it was good to mix with others from the broader community.

‘‘It’s to gain an overall understanding. We’ve welcomed them into our country and we have to make the effort to get to know them and understand their religious backgrounds and what values they carry and how we can benefit from that,’’ Mr Jansz said.

Welcoming the tour, Mr Jansz said it was a great opportunity and he learnt as much as the girls.

‘‘These girls are terrific, I’ve even had a couple of compliments already about what they have learned this morning and they’ll be a lot better and a lot wiser and a lot more understanding because of it,’’ he said.

The team was encouraged to ask questions and was given an overview of the differences in prayer and lifestyle.

‘‘Cricket is used as a social connecting tool and it’s an opportunity for these girls while in Shepparton to experience the uniqueness of multiculture in Shepparton,’’ Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District project co-ordinator Sam Atukorala said.