Gail calls stumps on junior carnival
By STEVE SPINKS
GAIL FORAN doesn't know what to do with herself.
For the first time in 10 years, Mrs Foran can enjoy the first week of January without a cricket ball in sight.
The Lismore mother-of-two has been the driving force behind the annual Lismore Under-12 cricket carnival that started yesterday.
She retired after the 2004 carnival.
It meant there were no family holidays over Christmas, apart from those in Lismore.
It also meant she usually spent her birthday on December 31 preparing for a deluge of young cricketers and their families to the area.
Mrs Foran was recognised by the Far North Coast Junior Cricket Council recently when she was awarded life membership for her services, which also included an extended period as secretary of Marist Brothers Junior Cricket Club and secretary and treasurer of the FNCJCC.
She got into running the carnival when her son Pat played in the competition.
Mrs Foran took over from Glenva and Ron Blok, who established the carnival 22 years ago.
"I didn't know a thing about cricket," she laughed. "I didn't understand why people would chase a red ball around in the sun."
So did she learn anything about the game during her time as carnival co-ordinator?
"Absolutely," Mrs Foran said.
"I think I can have a meaningful conversation about the game now."
One thing she admits she'll never get used to is young cricketers' love of the sport.
"My sons used to come home exhausted from being in the sun all day," Mrs Foran said.
"They'd have a drink and a cold shower and then be outside playing cricket again. It was like that for many kids who played in the carnival."
So is it a relief now that she doesn't have to organise it all?
"It's not a relief," she said.
"It was a pleasure to do it. It was great for my children and it's a great carnival."
Mrs Foran said she wouldn't have been able to keep running the carnival without FNC Cricket Council president Roger Boyd or the help of the Gregory or Gaggin families.
Already the Forans have enjoyed Gail's new-found freedom with a trip away over Christmas.
It was well deserved.