PLAYERS are limbering up for the 2023 Luke Batty Memorial Shield cricket match on 10 February at 5pm at the Tyabb cricket ground at Bunguyan Reserve.
After coming off a successful 2022 Australia and New Zealand Police Cricket Club Tournament on the Gold Coast, the Victoria Police Cricket Club will participate in the annual Luke Batty Memorial T20 cricket match to honour Luke, support the Tyabb community affected by the incident and raise awareness for family violence and mental health issues.
Australian Test Cricketer Brad Hodge will be a part of the day, while Hastings MP Paul Mercurio will deliver the first ball to the first batter, Assistant Commissioner of Southern Metro Region Russell Barrett.
This will be the seventh annual game since the passing of Tyabb Juniors cricketer Luke Batty in 2014, who was tragically killed by his father in a family violence incident. This year the event falls within days of the anniversary of Batty’s death. His mother Rosie Batty, who was named Australian of the year in 2015 for her body of work in raising awareness of family violence, has been invited and will attend if commitments allow.
In the 2020 game the organisers incorporated a memorial trophy for a young policeman, Paul Topham, who had recently lost his battle with mental health. Senior Constable Trent Delaney of Somerville Police said Topham, who parents will also be part of the awards presentation, was an integral part of the incident that occurred where young Luke lost his life.
A number of organisations and foundations that represent family violence and police mental health initiatives will also be part of the day, which will be covered by media and live streamed with commentary on social media.
Senior Constable Delaney said the aim of the event was to raise awareness in the local community that family violence and police mental health are real issues that many people face every day. “But we will overcome these issues with unity and respect,” he said.
There will be barbecues, raffles and crowd engagement activities throughout the evening.