There are lessons to be learned from Australian cricketing icons like Len Pascoe.
The former Australian fast-bowler will be part of the group in Bega for the Baggy Blues T20 on Thursday.
Tathra Sea Eagles president Adam Blacka said a key role of the day was opening up discussions around mental health.
“Players from my generation and up would love to talk to these guys about their experience in sport,” Blacka said.
“When you think about it cricket is a very mentally straining sport and it has one of the highest risks of mental health problems [for players].
“Jenny from RAMHP quoted that, which was very surprising for me.”
Mr Pascoe himself famously quit playing after a bouncer injured Sandeep Patil with the Australian quick later saying “the game’s not worth dying over. I was worried about what I was becoming. It wasn’t me.”
If we can learn how they talk with the younger generation, we can work out how to best help these kids be seen and heard, give them a way to vent and advanceAdam Blacka
“The thing is that it did shake me up quite a lot. It was an accumulation of all these other blows,” he said.
With former greats like Greg Dyer, Gavin Robertson and Phil Emery also on the card, Blacka said it would be a memorable occasion for cricket fans, but also a learning experience for club officials.
“I think locals will be able to build stronger memories from the guys being around [than the Thunder players being on pitch],” Blacka said.
“All my kids care about is Chris Green and those Thunder players coming down, but for my generation those older Australian cricketers are a massive draw card.
“The older heads are mostly talking about Len Pascoe coming down.
“The opportunity to just sit down and talk with some legends of the game is incredible for this area.
“’Lenny Pascoe sat next to me for an over and asked how I was going’ is much more impactful for someone as opposed to ‘Chris Green hit a six or got some wickets’,”.
Blacka said he was keen to talk with the visitors in hopes of learning how to help players feel more comfortable on a club or association level so they could open up.
“If we can learn how they talk with the younger generation, we can work out how to best help these kids be seen and heard, give them a way to vent and advance."
Alluding to his own battles to break through in cricket, Blacka is working hard to give better opportunities to our youth.
“I was aiming for that next level, knocking on the door, but unfortunately for personal reasons I didn’t make it, but I'm hoping to help kids have those opportunities to reach the next level.”
The presence of players for the Baggy Blues tour and a fledgling partnership with Cricket ACT could have massive benefits for local kids.
“Working out the best way for myself - that we can go to Canberra and prove the point that we have a lot of good sports people in our area and help them out – we just need Canberra to get on board and give them a chance,” he said.
Despite showing a bit of favoritism for the players off the field, Blacka said the T20 should still be quite a memorable one too.
A couple of Canberra Raiders have also been roped in to play with Sam Williams confirmed, while the second player is anticipated to be Jarrod Crocker.
Sydney Thunder’s Jay Lentin and Chris Green will also be in action during the game.
The Baggy Blues tour is open to everyone and the visitors will all be helping with a special free coaching clinic for all players up to 16-years-old on Thursday from 3.30pm until 4.30pm at Bega’s George Griffin Oval.
There will be food and drinks available at the ground as well as DJ entertainment with the first ball at 4.45pm, entry is by gold coin donation on the afternoon.