Former Test spinner Bryce McGain has joined a recent Cricket Victoria (CV) delegation to India as part of the Red Dust Role Model Tour.
The ex-Bushranger was among several high profile role models to help conduct a series of activities targeting disadvantaged kids in both Delhi and Mumbai.
Red Dust is a long-standing non-profit health promotion charity driven by a commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged youth.
Much of their work over the years has been in remote indigenous communities in Australia, although the organisation is expanding its reach into India, where the initiative is just as relevant.
Red Dust use positive role model volunteers to deliver its message, including well-known sports men and women. Allan Border, Anil Kumble and Victoria’s Mel Jones are amongst the program’s ambassadors.
CV have been associated with Red Dust for some time, and jumped at the chance to join the latest sojourn to India along with Essendon Football Club (CV’s partner in the GloBALL program helping new arrivals to Melbourne the chance to integrate better through cricket and football experiences), SEDA (CV’s partner in the successful Sports Development Program educational alternative), current Australian of the Year Simon McKeon and AFL role models Will Minson and Dyson Heppell.
CV’s delegation included CEO Tony Dodemaide and General Manager Game Development John Watkin. In recent years, CV has worked diligently to create closer ties to India, especially through Austrade, the government agency who are experts in matching businesses with mutual interests in both countries.
Opportunities were taken on this visit to present to the Australia and New Zealand Business Association in India (ANZBAI) on partnership opportunities with CV and its new subsidiaries, the Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades KFC T20 Big Bash League teams, and conduct further meetings in Delhi and Mumbai to explore potential for the Sports Development Program to be expanded to include Indian students.
“CV certainly recognise the many opportunities that remain present, and should continue to evolve in world cricket’s biggest market” Dodemaide said.
“Cricket is the obvious bridge for cultural and business links between our two great countries. The chance to progress those discussions and build our business network further, whilst also contributing to the great work Red Dust are doing, was an opportunity we could not pass up.”
The range of activities undertaken on the seven day trip also included an introductory AFL clinic to 200 students in Delhi, a cricket session at the D.Y Patel Stadium in Mumbai with a group of youth from the Dharavi School and an address from Mr McKeon at the Australian High Commission on the importance of corporate social responsibility.