The inaugural Travis Schultz Law Sportstars Dinner was held on Friday, 29 July, at The Lakehouse, Brightwater. This event was proudly presented as a combined event by Sunshine Coast’s BPL Franchise, the Coastal Marlins and Sunshine Coast Cricket. The Sportstars Dinner was the Coastal Marlins and the Sunshine Coast Scorchers’ launch party for the upcoming 2022/23 cricket season. The evening presented the opportunity for the audience to hear some of our Australian representatives and local athletes share their stories about their journeys to success, the highs, the lows, and what is in the future for local sports.
The evening saw over 140 guests who enjoyed a night with extraordinary special guests and live music from John Veloso. The MC Evan “Banger” Bancroft’s professionalism enticed out some memorable, interesting, and defining sporting moments from our guest speakers.
Andrew Pearce – General Manager of the Coastal Marlins and Sunshine Coasts Cricket – Director of Youth Development – said, “We couldn’t be happier with our first ever Scorchers/Marlins season launch Sportstars Dinner. Our guest speakers were phenomenal, and our local coaches and players represented cricket on the Coast exceptionally. We are looking forward to more future events together in order to continue to grow cricket and our brands well!”
One of the greatest wicketkeepers to have graced the game, former Australian Cricket Test royalty now a commentator for the game, Ian Healy, was the evening’s lead guest speaker. Ian thoroughly entertained the audience by proving his passion and commitment to the game. Ian told his most memorable cricket stories and touched on the success of Sunshine Coast Scorchers and how big the Sunshine Coast is becoming for their cricket.
We also heard from former Australian Cricket legend and the current head coach of the women’s Brisbane Heat side, Ashley Noffke. He discussed the significant efforts of local sports and how great the Sunshine Coast is to play cricket.
The evening saw more local legends from the Sunshine Coast Lightning, Mahalia Cassidy, and Laura Scherian. These two outstanding athletes shined a light on women in sport and some of their local achievements. The women also spoke on the fact that Sunshine Coast Lightning has had five consecutive Suncorp Super Netball Finals appearances in 2021, the only club in the competition to hold that record. However, 2022 wasn’t ‘their year, ending at the bottom of the table.
Mahalia and Laura were pleased to announce that their teammate who is a Lightning Foundation player and former Captain, Karla Pretorius — will make her way back to the Sunshine Coast to re-join the team for next season. Karla will be returning to Suncorp Super Netball after recently giving birth to her first child. Mahalia and Laura are excited for 2023 with the Sunshine Coast Lightning.
With the brand-new BPL ‘The Century’ competition being held this weekend, it was great to chat with a few of our Coastal Marlins players, coaches, and key stakeholders. The captain and coach of the Coastal Marlins, Jay Lenton, is pleased to be a part of this new competition and mentioned that there is a future in BPL with ‘The Century’.
Our very own Sunshine Coast Scorchers players have been selected for the 2022 BPL ‘The Century’. Congratulations to Mitch Cook, Nick Selman, and Joel Owen. Joel commented on the success of the first Scorchers and Marlins season Launch saying, “It was a great night, I look forward to representing the Coastal Marlins in 2022”.
The BPL will provide an independent, privatized competition allowing cricketers to showcase their skills against quality opposition and have a good hit-out leading into their season
Overall, the evening was a huge success, with plenty of money raised through the number of people attending and several memorabilia items up for auction. The guest speakers kept the audience entertained and intrigued as they were all well-educated, articulate, and had experience in a wide range of sporting areas.
We look forward to the upcoming 2022/23 cricket season here on the Sunshine Coast. To find a list of Sunshine Coast local cricket clubs and sign on head to sunshinecoastcricket.com.au/playcricket