The cricket match was close, and despite a number of skilful catches by the Pontville Immigration Detention Centre team, enthusiastically captained by state cricketer Ed Cowan, their opponents the Punjab 11 were too strong. The victors were all out for 127 and the Pontville team made a respectable 86.
Twenty Afghan men from Pontville IDC attended on the day, held at Old Beach oval on Monday, 21 January, with 11 of them participating in the match itself. Clare Camilleri, Serco’s Senior Program Manager of Pontville IDC said it was the perfect chance for local Tasmanians and asylum seekers to be involved in a friendly game together.
Tony Foster, Mayor of Brighton celebrated his 70th birthday at the community cricket game with representatives from Able Australia, Bridgewater Growth Centre and the Tasmania Asylum Seekers Support Network. Serco catered the event with the Old Beach Cricket club cooking a tasty BBQ and donated their time to the special event.
Serco staff have been working on providing a number of excursions for the clients at Pontville IDC, including horticulture, plant propagation and restoration work at the Bridgewater Community Growth Centre as well as team sports at local oval facilities.
‘We have got great engagement with the community here and have received an overwhelmingly positive response from the people within the Brighton community wanting to be involved’, Ms Camilleri said.
Last Sunday, Reverend Rod Curtain from the local Anglican parish allowed men from the Pontville IDC, who regularly attend services there, to use the parish kitchen to prepare scones and a traditional dish of pistachio baklava for congregation members.