On this occasion the 30 March release of the Retired Australian Cricketers Bi-Annual Newsletter is part of Easter Week and while this week's articles are squarely Easter related articles, I considered the cricketers newsletter should likewise highlight Easter.
Jesus consistently remarked about resting (physically and spiritually), and the Gospels speak of Jesus setting himself apart for prayer and solitude with His Father. As the Retired Cricketers Bi-Annual Newsletter also features respite, it seemed to me at least, Easter and respite have a commonality.
There has been considerable experimentation in recent years as to how best to handle cricketers who get worn out, and become prone to career affecting injury, that cricketer families having dad away a great deal, and at the same time, and that the cricketers want to play cricket sometimes to their detriment.
None of this is new. I have spoken of this in past articles on cricketer respite. Cricket is the primary focus of cricketer's activity - career, future employment prospects (coaching, umpiring, management, media, business, cricket tourism), and therefore every endeavour is to ensure these avenues remain open to them.
The kind of Respite that we provide through Well-Being Australia, is based on how we provided it for elite athletes from the Australian Institute of Sport since 1992 - a break away from the concrete edifices of modern sport.
For 14 years we served these athletes at Basil Sellers House in Moruya (NSW south coast) and since 2006 at Basil Sellers Tweed (Tweed Heads). Our visits to the AIS Cricket Unit in Brisbane for many years since 2006 again emphasised this.
There is another kind of respite, and this respite comes from the Easter message, of coming to Jesus for a very different kind of rest, that is rest in Jesus, a confidence of a peace that passeth understanding.
Published twice a year
The Retired Australian Cricketers Bi-Annual Newsletter is published 30 March and 30 November each years and was initiated in November 2000 after my 17 years as the Australian cricket team chaplain. I moved sideways to establish Life After Cricket.
The editorial team continues to be Allan Border, Greg Chappell, David Boon, Kim Hughes, NSW and VIC Cricket representatives, with me as the cricket chaplain as publisher. Each State posts out the newsletter to their own retired Australian cricketers and current Australian cricketers and an e-vision is sent for those with email. Now, this is the first issue it has gone completely digital. Hard copies are available only if requested by state cricket offices.
Eight issues ago the format changed. It was initiated as a page of cricket news, and the reverse, my Chaplain's Chat, with an occasional guest writer such as the then Victorian cricket chaplain Barrie Sutton and the AIS chaplain Peter Nelson.
It is part of Well-Being Australia's "Cricket Family Respite" which is part of the Life After Cricket program. In 2007 I consulted cricket stalwart Allan Border to widen the Respite ministry from the AIS athletes and coaches to include the cricket fraternity. Together we came up with the phrase "Cricket Family Respite". We kicked around a few "name ideas" until this one gelled.
There was so much cricket news available across the breadth of media it seemed that this newsletter needed a fresh approach and therefore refocused itself to the respite ministry and the three available respite facilities.
Well-Being Australia provides Respite in Moruya, Timeout in the Tweed and now also at Laguna Quays (Whitsundays).
This issue is a colourful newsletter with the photograph of a young family relishing the ocean beach waves.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html