NSW Blues star seamer and former Bathurst cricketer, Trent Copeland, beamed live into homes across the Central West on Wednesda, September 15, speaking with school students and junior cricketers as part of the 2021 Cricket NSW Country Blitz program.
The veteran bowler, who is only 39 wickets shy of becoming NSW's all-time leading Sheffield Shield wicket-taker, talked about his own cricket journey plus fielded questions from students and junior cricketers representing Cowra Junior Cricket Association as well as other clubs and schools in Orange, Bathurst and Mudgee.
The Country Blitz is an annual event where NSW's elite cricketers and coaches reach into communities in regional and rural centres of NSW.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the program was delivered remotely this year, with more than thirty cricketers and state head coaches participating in over 50 virtual Q&As with students, club cricketers, community coaches and fans.
"It's been a challenging couple of years with the pandemic, particularly across the Central West over recent months and while we can't get out into the community in person, it was fantastic to connect with schools and cricket clubs online," Copeland said.
"I very much enjoyed talking to those on the virtual calls about all things cricket and hopefully I was able to inspire those already playing cricket to dream big and never give up on their goals, whilst encouraging those new to the sport to give cricket a go this summer."
Cricket NSW General Manager - Community Cricket Experience, Joanne Scanlon said that this year's Country Blitz was a huge success, with the initiative engaging with 16,477 people from across regional NSW ranging from school students, teachers, club cricketers, coaches and fans.
"This year's Country Blitz was simply incredible, with a huge amount of positive feedback from those who participated," Scanlon said.
"Starting at 9am and going through until 8pm, Cricket NSW staff were joined by over thirty of the state's leading cricketers and coaches to conduct more than fifty virtual Q&A sessions.
"Now more than ever it's important for Cricket NSW to remain connected with regional and rural communities who are not only passionate about cricket, but many are isolated in lockdown.
"We would like to send a massive thank you to the teachers and club administrators for their assistance in making this year's virtual Country Blitz the success that it was.
"Our focus now turns to readying ourselves and our cricket community for the commencement of the cricket season in a fun, safe and compliant environment as soon as settings permit."
To play cricket this summer, sign up to your local club at PlayCricket.com.au