30+ hours of driving pays off for rep cricket player
Cricket: For six weeks, Archie Stivano and his mother drove the eight-hour return trip each Sunday to Toowoomba for cricket training.
Hard work and the draining weekends have paid off for the 12-year-old, who is this weekend headed to Cairns to represent Roma as part of the Under-12 Darling Downs and South West Queensland team.
The journey to the tropical north started last year when Archie was entered in a Roma and District team in the South West Country trials.
“I made that team,” Archie said. “We then played in a cup against three other teams and from that a training squad was picked.
“We then trained in Toowoomba on a Sunday for six weeks and from that they picked two teams.
“One was a development side which is going to Brisbane for a carnival next year, and the first side goes to Cairns next week.
“I was a bit nervous the day they were selecting teams but I just did my best.
“I really love my cricket.”
Archie is in his element when playing wicketkeeper and knows how to tune out the outside world to focus on the game at hand.
“It’s a real challenge sometimes. It’s great to play in a team environment but you’re contributing to a game which makes a big difference to the whole of your team,” he said.
“I try and stay really concentrated out on the field and not get too tense or nervous.
“I just try and relax, have my head in the game and make sure I bring my energy.”
The Cairns-bound team has players from Gatton, Warwick, Toowoomba, Charleville and Goondiwindi.
“They will be five long days of cricket – it will be so hot,” Archie said.
Mum Sherrill Stivano said the weekly trips to Toowoomba were a massive commitment, but she had incredible respect for those who travelled from even further afield.
“The families that support their children to play the game out this way are pretty incredible,” she said.
“Daryl Langton and the junior cricketing community have done wonders to facilitate and redevelop junior cricket out here.”