Tracey Slatter pulls up stumps after 17 years
CRICKET: After 17 years of volunteering with Gladstone Cricket, Tracey Slatter has decided to call it a day, citing more time with family and focus on her health as the main reasons.
Slatter became involved in the game when she was treasurer and secretary of the Yaralla Cricket Club from 2000 until 2014, a year when she received a double-lung transplant
"In 2002, my husband Greg and I went to the GCI meeting and he nominated me to become the assistant secretary (of the GCI),” Slatter said.
"I did that for two years and when Greg Michel retired as the secretary, I stepped up into the role.”
She has definitely seen it all. The most satisfying things she'd seen was watching juniors develop into some of the best players the Gladstone region has produced.
"In my time, I've witnessed players from under-9s and they were Mick and David Heymer, Josh Andrew, Waqar Yunus and Sam Lowry progress through to representative level cricket,” Slatter said.
"I'm also pretty happy with how the females have gone with Ruby Strange and Brooke Sheridan playing cricket for their state.”
The other female players of note, Slatter said, were Laine and Ernie Sunderland, India Fallon, Rachel Withoos, Sam Walker and Sam Taylor, as just a few who have made an impact.
Slatter came into cricket when industry was on the brink of thriving and this in turn had a positive impact on local sport.
"When I got involved, all the clubs had healthy numbers and there were definitely no forfeits,” Slatter said.
"They were positive times for seniors and juniors and the clubs were not struggling.
"As the years have gone on, the numbers struggled and teams have started to forfeit and senior numbers are definitely low at the moment.”
Slatter said shift-workers and the exodus of people from Gladstone were the main reasons why numbers had dropped.
The A-grade competition has three teams - Boyne Island-Tannum Sands, The Glen and Yaralla.
"The only solution I believe is to have the Cap Challenge, which has the Rockhampton teams in it, to go for the whole season,” Slatter said.
Another concern of Slatter's is the junior format. The length of matches and playing fields will shortened from the under-12 to U16 level, as will the length of the pitches.
"I'm from the old school and I'm not really sure if that's the right way to go,” she said.
She added it would take a couple of seasons for the new rules to be established.
Slatter will hopefully be passing on the baton in July at the annual general meeting and it will be tinged with sadness.
"It was not an easy decision, but I believe it's time for new blood to take over the reigns,” she said.
"It has been a pleasure and I thank Greg and my two kids. They can now have me back full-time.”