This year Mark Rushton has taken out both the Adult Volunteer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year for 2015.
While Mark Rushton was recovering from an accident in 2007 which left him wheelchair-bound, he had a conversation with a friend that sparked a big idea.
Mark’s friend, who has a profoundly autistic son, lamented to Mark that one of hardest things for him as a parent of an autistic child, was that his son would never experience the joy of competitive weekend sport, as he had as a kid.
Mark immediately said he could see how a special cricket team could be created.
Mark established the Blowfly Cricket Club in 2011 and today the club is in full swing. Every Saturday 20 children with autism, Asperger’s and cerebral palsy play cricket at a park in Hornsby with their parents cheering from the sidelines.
The club has grown and Mark has 50 volunteers who work with him. The Blowfly Cricket concept has expanded and Mark coaches special needs children in Campbelltown and in the Central Coast.
After working with Cricket NSW and Cricket Australia, a new resource has been developed based on the Blowfly model, to help other clubs establish cricket teams for special needs children.