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The Rock-itt : October 2009
PRE-SEASON CAMP By NSW Breakers Wicketkeeper, Alyssa Healy As part of our pre-season preparations the entire Breakers squad took part in a mini road trip at the start of September to Bowral for a fun weekend of bonding! The camp was aimed at bringing the group closer together before the start of the season. We are a pretty close knit squad already but with a few new faces it was good for everyone to get to know the 'newbies' a little better. An important part of the weekend was discussing our aims for the season and how we were going to approach the new Twenty20 tournament as well as the WNCL. We came up with a team motto 'Challenge' for the 2009/10 season. This word meant that we challenged ourselves and our teammates in every aspect of cricket and our lives so that we can become the best players and people we can be. The team meetings were complemented by a number of activities which included a long hike to a winery. It took a couple of hours and we stopped at the peak of one of the gigantic hills to have some lunch looking over the vineyard district of Bowral. After a brilliant lunch of sandwiches, muesli bars and snakes, thanks to Shaun and his wife Louise, we headed off in search of the winery. However a wrong turn meant we ended in the wrong winery so we had to double back and find the right one! Once we were there we tasted many different wines from the Howards Lane Winery where Mary and George provided some history on the place and the wine itself. We all enjoyed the experience, especially Sharon (Millanta) who loved all of the wines put in her glass! After the wine tasting we went back to the lodge but the only way to get there was up a giant hill -- someone said it was the short cut! But we ended up making it and managed to recruit a stray dog for the trip. His name was Angus and had run away from his owners to join us (Don't worry we returned him!). At dinner later that night we had a chance to sample some of the wines we had just bought, however most of the purchases were for the oldies back home. Two of the youngest members of the squad, Ellyse Perry and myself, managed to spend the most on the wine to show our parents how much we appreciated their efforts driving us around and cooking us dinner! The following day brought about the much anticipated golf game that had been talked up for weeks! We played Ambrose which meant everyone got to have a hit and it really didn't matter where it went so long as someone hit a good one! I had the pleasure of playing alongside Matt Dwyer, our fitness guru, Lisa Sthalekar and Angela Reakes. We ended up coming somewhere near last with Matt swinging a ball way left and losing it in someone's house! However we had a lot of fun and produced many unforgettable shots around each hole. Everyone had heaps of fun and left the course with buggies slightly less functional thanks to the many hills on the course! Because of my hockey commitments, I haven't been on a lot of pre-season camps but this one was a great experience and a lot of fun. We were all very relaxed and keeping in mind we are going to spend the next five months together, it's terrific that we were able to come together as a squad and set our goals for the 2009/10 summer. The Thursday night before the camp was one nobody looks forward to -- fitness testing. It was the conclusion to an eight week fitness block and while everyone always wishes they went a little better, we did pretty well. Several girls managed to get their names on the Honour Board at the gym: Ellyse Perry for the Yo-Yo and Sarah Aley showed off her massive guns lifting weights. Sharon Millanta surpassed all expectations during the squats and smashed all of us to elevate herself to the Honour Board. Fitness Guru Matt Dwyer, sporting his usual stubble, observed the testing and nodded his head with approval on seeing the results for the group. Full credit to Matt and his encouragement in pulling us through the sessions! Thursday night's fitness also saw our Australian representatives return to duty after the Ashes Tour. We now feel like a full squad again and can get struck into training with everyone here and ready to go. The Aussie girls bring a lot to the sessions with their presence and encouragement of everyone, as well as their ideas on how to approach things. With more matches there is a lot of to look forward to and personally, I am really excited about the new Twenty20 competition. The season is now just around the corner and we can't wait for it to start!