Having completed the large concrete drive way at the Laguna Quays Respite facility for AIS athletes and coaches along with missionaries and church personnel, you might guess what was my first thought.
The concrete drive way is the length of a cricket pitch and it's as wide as one and a half vehicles - in order that during the rainy season those alighting from their vehicles can stay off the wet grass.
This got me thinking of the generations of children who enjoy their sport either in the back or front yards, the street, down the park, wherever, but all in non-organised competitions, just children's scratch games.
The Chappell brothers Ian, Greg and Trevor tell of their fierce cricket competitions in their Adelaide back yard growing up, as did Steve and Mark Waugh to name just two.
This is the right of passage of every Australian boy and their sisters didn't miss out either, they too got into the swing of things.
Beach holidays are a quintessential part of many Australian families and this is where 'beach cricket' comes into its own. There was a period of several years where an international series of beach cricket was played by retired cricketers until sponsorship ran out.
Our family enjoyed holidays in the sixties, and several years we camped in the back yard of an Auntie's in Wollongong. The two lads from each family, of which I was one, went to the park twice a day, and played Test Cricket with the stumps drawn on a tree.
We each named our teams with the then current champion cricketers. They were great fun times. So typical of kids all over Australia even today.
Footy doesn't miss out either. Notice the touch footy back yard games where everyone participates including mum and dad and even the littlest ones.
In our 1960s family it was hockey as our mum was a champion hockey player in Sydney in the mid to late 1930's prior to WWII. It was always difficult to get past mum with the ball.
These back yard family and friends sports are lesson fields for children teaching them about a whole host of things about fair play, honesty, integrity, character and good graces.
Although not playing for 'sheep stations' these back yard fixtures were and are serious as many a child's tear has been shed.
All this discussion about back yard sports was initiated with the new cricket pitch length drive way at the Laguna Quays Respite facility.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at