Finding Cricket ….and a healthier lifestyle again!
Last Man Stands reignited a passion for cricket for me back in 2018 after seeing a Facebook ad looking for players in my local area. I’d been stuck working behind a desk for too long and needed to find something to move my body and get active again before it was too late! I hadn’t played cricket in over a decade, and I never would’ve guessed the benefits that LMS would give me - friendships, health and a lot of happiness.
Opportunities arise from adversity
Over the last five years I’ve played over 200 games, helped to manage the LMS Melbourne leagues, and jumped into franchise ownership in Tasmania which is where I was originally from. When Covid struck Melbourne hard, we decided to pack up and jump across Bass Strait to spend some time in Tassie to ride out the pandemic. I was desperate to still enjoy some cricket, so it was the perfect opportunity to bring LMS back to Tasmania.
I say “back” as I was fortunate to take over a franchise which had existed in the past but had been dormant for some four years. This provided me with a base to launch from in terms of former players and teams which was a nice advantage. Through my cricket networks in Tassie, I was able to reach out to some old contacts and get some others involved, and before we knew it, LMS Tasmania was back!
Tasmania grounds with tremendous views
Creative solutions can overcome the most common challenges!
The biggest challenge was finding suitable ground locations that were affordable. From my experience, it’s an ongoing challenge for many city franchises. Some councils have been better to deal with than others, but I’ve found approaching secondary schools an easier and more affordable way to secure suitable venues.
We set up leagues in Hobart and Launceston to start with for the first season, and recently expanded to Sorell in outer Hobart, and Burnie on the north-west coast of the state. We had roughly 20 active teams in our most recent leagues and ran over 200 matches for the year.
In Melbourne, the Sunday leagues are very popular, so I was surprised to find that it was almost the opposite in Tasmania. Sundays were competing with second-tier club cricket as well as an established multicultural T20 league which made things difficult for us. Instead, I focussed on our midweek offering and that worked much better to get us going.
LMS Teams play at the foot of the spectacular Tasmania mountains
Laying the foundations is imperative to future growth
Scaling any business is an important step but I wanted to make sure we had a solid base first. As we come up to the two-year mark for the relaunched LMS Tasmania, I hope we can continue to grow into new regions this Summer and add more leagues throughout the week.
We’re here for the social cricketer!
We very much promote LMS as social cricket and want to attract social cricketers who perhaps don’t fit into other forms of club cricket. That’s always got to be the focus. Good cricketers are nice to have, but it’s the social cricketers that are always going to be the heart and soul of LMS.
LMS is all about social cricket in Tasmania
With an eye always on collaboration….
We have tried to work alongside relevant cricket bodies such as Cricket Tasmania. They are supportive of us and what we are doing, although they haven’t been able to provide us with any real support yet. As we continue to grow, I hope we can work closer with CT and perhaps that will help us with some of the ground availability challenges that we have to contend with.
……and seeking partnership with sponsors for mutual benefit.
Another goal for the next 12 months is sponsorship. Getting a new franchise off the ground and running smoothly takes up enough time that I haven’t been able to work on potential sponsors. That will be the next step for LMS Tasmania so that we can give more back to the players and provide better value for money for them.
LMS kit is a colourful addition to the scenery
Invaluable support from experienced members of the LMS franchise family
Overall, the LMS franchise experience has been a positive one, however I couldn’t have done it without the support of other franchise owners who I’ve been in contact with to bounce ideas and seek advice. Big thanks to Rob (Australia), Phil (Melbourne) and JJ (Albury) in particular as people who I respect and admire their work with Last Man Stands.
LMS players getting the full cricket experience
Building a local team as passionate & committed as I am
Also, a big shout out to the league managers who help me in Tasmania to make it happen. A lot of the work I do is done remotely, so having solid league managers on game day is a must! Big thanks to Brayden S, Brayden M, Seth and Anthony for their tireless efforts in sharing the same passion as I have for cricket in Tassie.
Looking forward to what lays ahead in the next innings for LMS Tasmania!