Chris Green has described Sydney Thunder’s Fan Day as an opportunity for his teammates to thank the people who make playing cricket “matter”.
Green said the Fan Day at Bella Vista Oval on Sunday 15 December - a free family day out that runs from 10am to noon - provided the club’s players with the opportunity to share a variety of fun experiences with the “BBL’s greatest supporters”.
“To give back to our members - and all of our supporters - is something we players love,” he said. “Seeing the smiles on the kids as they interact with the players is a very special experience.
“Our supporters really are the best. It’s always what I call a ‘goose bump’ moment to see the Thunder Nation at our matches with their big flags; wearing our colours and seeing that smattering of green that’s around the stadium.
“As a playing group we take notice of the cheers because they help to lift the energy on the field. They also drive our desire to do the best we can be for our fans and club. Fan Day is the perfect opportunity to let our supporters know they’re valued.”
This year’s Fan Day will again provide supporters with a chance to meet their favourite Thunder players, take selfies and secure a prized autograph.
There’ll be plenty of activities, special appearances by the club’s mascots Thunder and Storm, a Q&A sessions with the players and much more.
There will also be a free special cricket clinic for Thunder’s Junior Members.
Green said he hadn’t forgotten what it was like as a young boy in South Africa who idolised the nation’s champion all-rounder, Jacques Kallis.
“Jacques appealed to me because he was known for setting good examples on-and-off the field,” said Green. “That was reflected in his cricket. He was certainly a class player, but he highlighted you’re also remembered for what you do off the field.
“From playing alongside him [during BBL|05] I know meeting your hero can be life changing. I couldn’t talk to him... I was too shy... I just watched the player I considered to be the best in the world go about his business. I discovered what added to Jacques’s class as a cricketer was his class as a person.”
Green said he planned to tell the young fans he meets at Bella Vista Oval to play their cricket with a smile.
“I hope to help kids realise it’s important to enjoy the game regardless of what their cricket aspirations are,” he said. “I’ve made it my focus to enjoy the moment, and that’s the message I’m passing on.”
Thunder’s wicketkeeper Jay Lenton said the Fan Days he’s attended had inspired him to be the best possible role model.
“It’s humbling when you realise someone looks up to you,” said Lenton. “You want to leave a good impression on them.
“Besides giving you a sense of purpose to do your best, it’s also a reminder of the fortunate position we’re in. You realise it’s not only important to perform on the field, but off it because we want to be worthy role models.”
Sydney Thunder Fan Day
Date: Sunday 15 December
Location: Bella Vista Oval (free admission, plenty of on-site parking)
What: Fun for the whole family including inflatables, cricket activities, giveaways, merchandise and live music