Ask second year Bachelor of Sports Coaching and Administration student Tim Coombe whether he prefers the office or match days of his Big Bash League’s Sydney Thunder internship and his answer is swift.
“Hands down, it’s match day,” Tim said. “You’ve done the pre-match prep and you’re just on the go, on your feet and sorting things out on the spot. Once you finish one task, it’s straight on to the next one.”
A typical day starts early with a team meeting to make sure everyone is ready for the match. Tim’s next task is to hand out tickets to the players and officials’ family and guests as they arrive at Spotless Stadium. “I’ve met some famous people who I know from TV but I didn’t recognise in person,” he said.
After the fifth over, Tim heads to the family zone to make sure all the young fans get a turn on the jumping castle and the inflatable cricket field. “It’s great to see the kids having fun and the parents joining in.”
Once he has had a meal break, Tim lets everyone out, pulls down the games and marquees and packs everything into the big green Thunder Bus. Then comes the best part of the day for Tim.
“I walk the players to the Thunderdome, where members – mostly kids – get to ask them questions. At the end, the players draw a raffle,” Tim said. “The last prize is a backstage VIP pass. Whoever wins this gets to walk off with the players for a behind-the-scenes tour. They get so excited.”
Tim’s last task is to pack up at the end of the day. This includes folding away the Mazda Beach chairs and inflatables. This can take up to one and half hours but Tim doesn’t mind.
“It’s amazing to be behind the scenes,” he said. “There’s a lot of time, effort and dedication that goes into making it all happen. You don’t really stop until you’re at home with your feet up and that’s when I think about what we’ve achieved.”
Tim described the Sydney Thunder team as a family that took him under their wing. “They really enjoy what they do and they’re so professional. It’s hard to tell if anything’s gone wrong because they’ve usually already fixed it,” he said. “I love working as part of the team, making sure every fan and member has a smile on their face.”