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"Chris Tobin - A Great person!"

"A great thing can only be done by a great person; and they do it without effort." John Ruskin

"...Cricket is and has been a large part of my life. At age 75 I still play and enjoy the game. This passion was ignited for me early in March of 1956 when I began playing 8000ft above sea level at my boarding school St Pauls, Darjeeling. " Chris reflected.

Spend 5 minutes and enjoy as Chris Tobin reflects on his time as President of the South Australian Veterans cricket Association.

This Thursday, 9th September will be his last AGM as President.

Congratulations on a stellar reign.

Chris receives his Veterans Cricket Australia Life Membership

The South Australian Over 60s Cricket Association was established with the South Australian Cricket Association's backing in January 2007. A Management Committee was established, which comprised of all members, which was nine. Graham Horlin-Smith assumed all roles and invited Chris Tobin to join as Vice President. Graham was ill and soon could not continue in the role, and Chris became President, a position that he held for 14 years. SA Over 60's began with a match on the Payneham Oval against Victoria, which SA won. In the early days, games were organised where players just showed up, and two teams were selected. These games were at Rostrevor College, thanks to Stan Hayles, who was the glue that held us together. A big step was to establish Zone teams, and initially, we had three teams, and believe the first State to hold regular competitive games.

The objective from the beginning was to foster and promote cricket for those 60 years of age and over so that anyone could continue playing cricket in a friendly, stress-free environment. The cricket is competitive and gentlemanly, with proper observance being paid to the laws and conventions of the game.

Yes...... Chris playing a forward defense v Tasmania

Given SAVCA's goal was to maximise involvement, we grew very quickly as people enjoyed the mix of competition and social cricket. The challenge since then has been to get the balance right. Chris saw his role as President to get the right people in the right places. Rex Sellars played a vital role in our growth as Patron. He got to know what we needed and was instrumental in tying up the Vice Presidency of SACA to be our Patron, a position we benefitted immensely from. Chris enjoyed the competition of playing and the honour of representing the State at the National Championships. In 2011 he was incredibly honoured to win a baggy green cap no 13 to represent Australia in England and New Zealand.

Another vital factor in SAVCA's growth was the securing of the Marion Sports Centre as a home a base. Thanks to Jimmy Curtis, a stalwart of the Marion Club, we had a home base which gave us solidarity in the eyes of possible recruits. This relationship continues and is still a vital part of our structure. During our time, we have been highly privileged to have a newsletter (begun by Derek Grove) that keeps us informed and is a pleasure to read. Current Editor Scott Dawson has been outstanding in this position, and the difficulties he has overcome to keep us informed have been quite extraordinary.

In 2012 SAVCA hosted it's first National Championships with 28 teams. With George Healey as the Coordinator, we ran an excellent event that was used as the yardstick to measure other similar events for years. Chris played a supportive role, and during that time, he was President of the Australian Veterans Cricket Association. Reflecting on his time there, he is pleased that the position of National President was separated from Championship Coordinator and began the push for a separate Over 70 event.

Chris about launch over cow wearing his "Baggy Green" with pride for Australia!

In South Australia, SAVCA expanded with regional teams becoming involved in the SE Coasters and players from the mid-north, increasing their participation. To develop the Association to meet these demands, two points needed consideration. Firstly, the formation of an Over 50s competition which began thanks to the specific work done by Geoff Field. The other point was changing our Zone Teams into Clubs. This process would take more time, and now entering the 2021 season, we have a club-based situation, which will increase our appeal to players. In this regard, Chris's role changed to focus on the SAVCA rules and constitution to ensure that this could happen. Michael Wilson and founding member Clive Wundersitz have been great in writing and rewriting the changes as needed.

During this time, SAVCA has provided an opportunity to enjoy cricket in Sri Lanka, Singapore, Samoa, England, and New Zealand. Within Australia, we have organised tours/games in Darwin, Cairns, Portland, Hamilton, Mildura, Echuca, Geelong, Renmark, Tanunda, Freeling, Moonta, Keith, Mt Gambier, Willalooka, Padthaway, and Farina, North of Leigh Creek. The excellent factor is that on these tours, we have maximised involvement. Chris Tobin was fortunate enough to participate in these tours and proud to be part of the team that won the Pacific Championships in Samoa.

SAVCA team - Division 2 Over 60's - Tasmania

Keeping player fees low has been a bonus for SAVCA. Regular National Championships have topped up our resources. A challenge for the future is to ensure that we keep ourselves solvent in the face of cancellations etc. It is inevitable that fees will rise, but we must ensure that these are kept to a minimum.

The Association has had some outstanding personal achievements. In an Over 70s game against England, SAVCA had the oldest player on both sides participating, and Don Tanner, who played well enough to be awarded the Man of the Match award. Another personal achievement worth recording was Doug Turbill being appointed the first-ever Over 70s Captain of an Australian XI and, in true fashion, led his team to victory in the first game in Melbourne. In addition, we have had many of our members represent SAVCA in national sides in the Over 50s, 60s, and 70s categories. Chris has been extremely fortunate to wear the baggy green at 70 as well as at 60.

"In England, I was proud to have Clive (Wundersitz) present to me my cap as he is easily one of the most enduring members of our group." commented Chris

Chris being presented his "Baggy Green" by great mate Clive Wundersitz

The growth in the 50s age group has been astounding, and much of this has been driven by Anthony Telfer. The 50's competition is where the significant development for the 60s and 70s will come. Winning the Over 60s National Championship under the leadership of Greg Quinn has undoubtedly been one of SAVCA's high points. Chris hopes this inspires us to other National rewards.

In closing, SAVCA has a rich tradition of holding excellent National events to the extent that we know of players who travel from interstate because the events are held in Adelaide. Chris is sure that the upcoming 50 Nationals will build on the tradition set up by the 60 and 70 groups. Our future looks bright, and he looks forward to the continued growth of the Association.

Chris Tobin Achievements

  • 1956 - Played first game at ST Paul’s. Darjeeling. India

  • 1991 - Awarded Life Member of the TTGDCC

  • 1995 - Retired from Senior Cricket.

  • 2005 - Player and Committee Member of South Australian Over 60 Cricket Association Represented SA in the 60 Australian Nationals in Division 1 [2008/09/10/11/12/13]. Scored most runs in all except 2013.

  • 2006 - President of SA O60 Cricket Association

  • 2009 - President of the Australian Over 60 Cricket Associations.

  • 2011 - Selected in the First ever Australian Over 60 XI and toured England to play for the Ashes. injury caused me to miss three games but finished second in the batting aggregate.

  • 2013 - Selected in the First Australian Over 60s side to New Zealand and topped the batting.

  • 2014 - Visited Singapore and Sri Lanka with a SAVCA side [only losing my wicket to a bowler in the last innings of the tour]

  • 2015 - Visited New Zealand with a SAVCA side and enjoyed a good season in Australia winning the Player of the Year for SAVCA

  • 2016 - Toured England with the Australian Over 70s picking up the most runs on tour

  • 2017 - Awarded Life Membership of SAVCA

  • 2018 - Limited season sue to covid, cataract operation and cancer treatment

  • 2019 - Awarded Life Membership of VCA

  • 2020 - Played against ACT in the Riverland and enjoyed a domestic season with the Northern Bulls with no Nationals due to covid.

  • 2021 - Looking forward to a season with the newly established Eastern Reds

Chris about to "launch" a 6 into the white house - SAVCA v New Zealand

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