Late last year we met Commodore Chris Smallhorn and his wife Kerina from HMAS Albatross in NSW Australia who suggested the idea of sharing the bats with members of the Royal Australian Navy.
Little did we know the lengths Chris would go to share Willo’s story.
Chris took away a few of Willo’s refurbished bats and said he would share them and the story of Will. One of the bats had accompanied the crew of HMAS Newcastle to the Middle East. The bat had visited Bahrain Abu Dhabi Oman Jordan India Seychelles Madagascar and played a game with children from an underprivileged school in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The second bat had flown with the pilots of the KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport to Syria.
The story of their travels were shared with us and 2 leather bound folders of the journey of the bats with pictures were given to Will. How amazing to think that Willo had travelled to this part of the world and in some way reminded the crews of something very special from Australia. We were a little speechless as Chris spoke about the bats journey and how our story was so significant to them.
As we talked with the crew after the presentation the real joy for us became more evident. It was how the cricket bat and Wills story united so many people and potentially offered continued inspiration and awareness around ability and the resilience required to do life. The crew have faced many intense and threatening situations and the need for courage, determination and strength is evident. If Will can be an inspiration for them .. our job is done.
Our third bat is currently sailing with HMAS Rankin. An Australian C Class Submarine on its way to Hawaii.