Lithgow’s Roxsanne Van-Veen has finished up her history-making tour of the UK with the Aboriginal XI squad, commemorating 150 years since a team of 13 Aboriginal cricketers toured England.
The Aboriginal XI tour recognises the group of men as the nation’s first ever sports team to tour overseas, beginning Australia’s international sporting legacy.
“To retrace the footsteps of 1868 tour is like a dream come true,” Van-Veen told the Lithgow Mercury.
“Words can’t explain the emotions involved.
“I think more people from Lithgow, in fact all over Australia, need to read more about these tours. The 1868 team was the first team in any sport to travel overseas.”
Van-Veen has had her own part to play in the nation’s sporting history as a member of Australia’s first national Indigenous female cricket team, formed in 2016.
She said she hoped the Aboriginal XI tour, which took national Indigenous men and women’s squads to London, Hove, Derby and Nottingham, would have an impact back home.
“I’m hoping the tour can get back to young Indigenous kids and get them playing cricket and possibly playing at the top level,” she said.
“The future looks bright for the Australian Indigenous female team.”
Van-Veen’s team won one out of four matches played between June 7 and June 12.
“The opposition are very experienced and are very professional so they had the upper hand with our young team. We did give 100 per cent in every game,” she said.
All eyes were on Van-Veen when three of the Aboriginal XI’s opening batswomen fell for five runs against Sussex, making her follow up of 31 runs all the more impressive and essential.
The team’s winning match against the National Cricket Conference also saw captain Ashleigh Gardner scoring an unbeaten 100.
On Wednesday, June 6, the Aboriginal XI squads met the Australian men’s ODI team at Lord’s to commemorate Bripumyarrimin, as known as ‘King Cole’, one of the original 1868 cricketers who died while on the tour.
Van-Veen has supported Lithgow sportswomen through her long involvement in the Lithgow Workies league tag team and Panthers premier league hockey squad.