The incredible contribution to New South Wales Country Cricket of Carolyn Sheehan was recently recognised with Life Membership of the association.
Ms Sheehan, who for more than 40 years has been at the forefront of female cricket in Western NSW, was awarded the honour at the 33rd NSW Country Cricket Annual General Meeting, 31 August.
Starting as a player at the NSW Country Championships in the mid-1970s, Ms Sheehan has contributed as a regional coach, team manager and qualified umpire.
This honour adds to a distinguished list of achievements for Ms Sheehan. She was made a Cricket NSW Life Member in 2015, received the Lifetime in Coaching Achievement Award from Country Cricket NSW, 2016, and was a Queen’s Baton runner for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
She also received the Cricket NSW Appreciation of Outstanding Service in 2010.
A number of awards and competitions are named in her honour including the Western Zone Women’s Player of the Year.
Ms Sheehan was the inaugural assistant coach and manager of the NSW Bush Breakers when Women’s Cricket was introduced to the Australian Country Cricket Championships in 2016/17 and remains in that role.
She is also the current assistant coach of the Western Zone Female Academy.
Her long-time friend of more than 40 years, Cricket NSW Life Member and former Australian player between 1976-82, Marie Cornish OAM, spoke in support of Ms Sheehan’s nomination at the annual meeting.
“Western Zone, Country Cricket and Cricket NSW are blessed to have such a wonderful advert for Female Cricket,” said Ms Cornish.
NSW Country Cricket Life Member, Ian Hogg, also spoke in support of the nomination.
He said Ms Sheehan was synonymous with Women’s cricket throughout Country NSW.
“I first met Carolyn over 20 years ago and I was immediately taken with her passion for Womens Cricket. This was a time when Womens Cricket was just starting to make an impact,” said Hogg.
“Little did I know that she had been at the forefront of the game for many years.
“Carolyn has worked with every New South Wales Women’s coach for the last 30 years.
“She has played a pivotal role in the development of many women cricketers that have gone on (to play) for the NSW Breakers and Australia — none more notable than her cousin, Lisa Keightley, who was the first female player to make a century at Lord's.”
Ms Sheehan represented her home town of Mudgee at her first NSW Country Championships, one of many, and also played for NSW at Under 21 level.
Like many female players at that time, her coaching career began whilst still playing.
She was the initial coach of the Western Zone Women’s team at the NSW Country Championships going on to coach and manage many teams including the Female NSW Country Under 15, Under 19, second XI as well as the state Under 18 and 19 women's teams.
Ms Sheehan is also a qualified Netball umpire and coach.
Courtesy David Gavin - Cricket NSW