A new start for a long cricket career


A Wellington double code star switches to cricket for Hawkes Bay and is relishing the lifestyle and training opportunities, writes Aiden McLaughlin

At the age of 28, recent Central Hinds signing Thamsyn Newton has left her roots behind to explore life and sport in Hawkes Bay.

A dual-code star, Newton was a cornerstone of the Wellington Blaze squad over two spells (2011-2014 and 2018-2023), as well as the Wellington Pride rugby union team, but was born in Central Districts territory; Paraparaumu on the Kāpiti Coast is part of the Horowhenua-Kāpiti district association, one of eight district associations that makes up the most widely spread major association In the country.

Newton relocated to the coastal village of Waimārama in April this year, where her partner runs a surf school. After the move, she initially worked remotely, and, by finishing by lunchtime each day, Newton was able to wander down to the beach each afternoon to enjoy that surf as well; but she quickly felt that she needed to make more of an effort to get out and about in her new region.

With the help of her Personal Development Manager at the NZ Cricket Players Association, Newton was successful in applying for a role at BBI Wood Products in Hastings, where she has worked full-time for the last couple of months.

Conveniently, her new job is less than 4 km from the Mitre 10 Sports Park, which is now the main hub for the Central Hinds and Central Stags squads. There are plenty of long days, but her ongoing passion for cricket makes it worth it. Newton trains from 6 am-7 am at the Sports Park twice a week with a trainer before heading off to work and also ensures she has three other training sessions a week, with a net session over an extended lunch break once a week as well.

“Before I decided I was going to sign with the Hinds, the new facilities made things a lot easier. Dave [Meiring, Central Districts Manager, High Performance] gave me a call and he was pretty keen to take me around the facilities, so that was pretty impressive and I think it just made things a lot easier,” says Newton.

“It’s just the convenience of it all. You can go to one place. You’ve got indoor nets, you’ve got outdoor nets, you’ve got the gym, you’ve got the pool, the running track. I don’t know how many places you’d find in New Zealand that have all of that in one location. It’s made things a whole lot easier, being only 10 minutes from work,” she says.

Although Newton’s able to get to her training facilities relatively easily, the unique geographical spread of her Hinds teammates means that outside of the playing season, the full squad doesn’t get together apart from specific training camps. Others, such as White Fern Hannah Rowe, have also moved to Hawkes Bay, but at the other end of the spectrum, a newcomer to the Hinds contracted list, Flora Devonshire, is in the South Island, studying at the University of Canterbury. For Newton, it’s very different from the Wellington Blaze set-up where most of the squad was based in the capital.

“It is a big change not being part of a centralized program. Your team trains after work and then you go to the gym before mahi with nine or 10 girls who are playing in the team so it’s so different here,” says Newton.

“I think it’s great, you’ve got to just be a bit more accountable for getting yourself to the gym, trying to link in and you’ve got to organize a lot more; organizing your training times, and trying to fit that in with mahi as well, so it’s good. I think being older you get a bit more independent and I’ve had to be a lot more organized and not just expect to have those two pieces of training a week that we can train together as a team and train on grass, I’ve got to do that myself,” she says.

Newton brings a wealth of experience to her new team. 107 List-A one-dayers, including 10 ODIs for the White Ferns as well as 115 T20s, including 15 T20 Internationals and 14 Women’s Big Bash appearances for the Perth Scorchers.

A new start for a long cricket career
Newton with former teammate Suzie Bates

“It’s been a long career, or at least it feels like that. Wellington’s just been a huge part of my life. I was born and raised there. Whether I go back or not, life can change pretty quickly, but I’m grateful to have been part of such an awesome organization,” says Newton.

“I think in the last few years it’s been the leader in the development of the women’s game, with their full-time coach, their investment in women’s sport, I’ve been pretty lucky to have been part of that movement with them and I think with a bit more professionalism and money coming into the women’s game as well I think you’re probably going to see a lot of shifts, in terms of girls just moving teams to try and get more opportunities, so, I think it’s just the start of that happening,” she says.

When she made the move earlier this year, Newton didn’t forget to pack her rugby boots and mouthguard, and got straight into club rugby in Hawkes Bay, playing a full, albeit short, club season at fullback for Clive.

“I bloody loved playing footy this season. Clive’s where my partner plays and her Dad played for Clive too so I was only ever allowed to join that club. I did think it might be fun to play against each other but that didn’t go down too well,” Newton says, laughing.

“We managed to make the finals but unfortunately, we didn’t quite get over the line, losing to Napier Tech. I’ll still stick around the club scene [next season] for sure.

With the newly promoted Hawkes Bay Tui having made the semi-finals of the Farah Palmer Cup premiership this season, would Newton be tempted to put herself forward for selection next season?

“Depending on how life goes and how work goes, I’ll wait until the season rolls around and see what’s happening. I don’t plan too far forward. I take things in their stride, see how it goes, and give it a crack,” Newton says.

“They [the Tui] had some awesome crowds. I was so stoked for them and they played some awesome footy too. At the end of the day, they only play five games of club footy too, so to be able to produce what they did is pretty outstanding. You get promoted and you make the top four. Imagine what they could have done if they’d had more games,” she says.

In the immediate future, Newton’s sporting attentions are firmly fixed on the Hinds as pre-season training kicks into gear, and she’s relishing it.

“It’s a younger team, it’s not as star-studded as the Wellington Blaze but that brings new challenges and new excitement,” says Newton.

“At the end of the day, my career goal is pretty simple in the fact that I just want to add value to any team that I’m a part of, and however big or small that looks is dependent on what the team needs and if I can give it on that day and at that time.”

Be known by your own web domain (en)

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *