Grassroots cricket focus at WACA

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Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Camera IconWACA chairman elect, Terry Waldron. PICTURE NIC ELLIS THE WEST AUSTRALIAN Credit: Nic Ellis/Picture: Nic Ellis

When Terry “Tuck” Waldron was growing up in the Great Southern town of Jingalup, the cricket-mad youngster never imagined he would become chairman of the WACA.

The former country sport star will take over from Ken Michael in September. The former minister for sport and recreation has been involved in cricket as a player, coach and administrator.

He captained the WA Country XI for 12 years and the Australian Country XI for three, before becoming cricket and football development officer for the Great Southern in the 1990s.

He said his greatest enjoyment and fondest memories came from his time playing the game at grassroots level.

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“Playing for my town of Jingalup and Kojonup, and representing Kojonup against the surrounding towns ... I have hundreds of great memories there,” he said.

“I just want to make sure as chairman of the WACA, that whether you are in Albany, Kojonup, Kununurra, Kalgoorlie or Perth, you still enjoy that cricket.

“We can’t all be Test cricketers but the local competition, wherever that may be, the guys today are still playing hard and enjoying the social interaction.

“That’s what it is all about and I just want to make sure that we keep that going and improve it.”

Mr Waldron has also played for Claremont in the WAFL, South Adelaide in the SANFL and held the position of general manager of the WA Country Football League.

As a minister in the Barnett Government, he was responsible for overseeing the planning and construction of Optus Stadium.

He said during his tenure at the WACA he hoped to grow the pathways and opportunities in cricket right from the grassroots to the elite levels.

“I am really focused on our grassroots level because we need a strong cricket involvement and expertise to get as many kids playing, both boys and girls,” he said.

“Then it’s about making sure we have a good, identifiable and strong path through to give them the chance to reach the highest level they possibly can, and hopefully the elite level, which is also very important.

“We have to remain diligent — things change in cricket.

“Twenty-five years ago you couldn’t imagine that we would be filling stadiums for Twenty20 cricket, but we are.

“Sometimes we like to think of the good old days, and for young people today, this will be their good old days, right now.”

Mr Waldron still frequently visits the region.

His daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren live in Denmark.

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