As a 16 year old in the Queensland town of Beaudesert, Jude Coleman first stepped onto an indoor court. 22 years later, she has captained her country since 2005, and is set to play in her 18th National Championships this week in Cranbourne.
Coleman’s illustrious indoor career began after filling in for a friend’s team who were a player short. A chance meeting with former Australian captain Donna Dalby resulted in Jude becoming hooked and followed Dalby’s footsteps in skippering her nation.
Coleman’s outdoor career is just as outstanding (playing 60 WNCL games for Queensland) but at a young age she saw the excitement of the indoor court, “It was a lot faster than outdoor and you’re closer to the bat” she said. “There’s a lot more action and you could chat a lot more - I enjoyed that part of it, and just the intensity.”
As a bowler, Coleman was able to utilise her skills learnt inside, to improve her outdoor game. “In indoor you’ve got to be able to bowl a number of different balls, so I was able to take that into the outdoor game and I was pretty good with my variation at that level.” She said. As well as “The fielding side of things, being able to be a little bit quicker with your reactions.”
Captaining her nation since 2005, Coleman is very proud of her achievements, “It’s always such an honour to captain your country in any sport and to do it in the one that I absolutely love is pretty special.” She said.
The desire for success at Nationals level still burns deep for Coleman, looking to win her third straight championships with Queensland. “Our side hasn’t changed that much from last year and we really enjoy each other’s company, but the thing we are really trying to do this year, is with the change from eight to six balls overs, it’s brought the scores back a little bit, we’re really trying to challenge ourselves this year to score those bigger scores even though it’s only six balls.” She said. “(We’ll do this) by playing a little bit more aggressive than a Queensland side is known for.” “We’ve been preparing with a lot of hard training, but a lot of scenario based training where we really challenge ourselves to be different.” She added. “Queensland’s known to be a bit boring and to hit the ball up into the springs as often as possible, and we’re just challenging ourselves to get out of our comfort zone and play a little differently to what we are used too.”
Her leadership and knowledge of the game will be passed onto the next generation after recently signing on as Assistant Coach of the Adelaide Strikers in the WBBL and South Australian Scorpions in the WNCL, but it’s not just her cricketing past that will help Coleman succeed in her new role. “My teaching background… is something that has helped me, but just being able to play at an elite level of a sport is something that can help you when you cross over to the coaching side.” She said.
Coleman will be in action for Queensland in the Open Women division at Casey Stadium, Cranbourne from Sunday the 30th of June to Saturday the 6th of July.
See fixture below:
Sunday 30th June QLD V NSW Court 1 1:30pm
Sunday 30th June QLD V VIC Court 4 6:45pm
Monday 1st July QLD V SA Court 3 11:45am
Tuesday 2th July QLD V WA Court 2 10:00am
Tuesday 2th July NSW V QLD Court 3 3:15pm
Wednesday 3rd July SA V QLD Court 2 10:00am
Wednesday 3rd July VIC V QLD Court 1 6:45am
Thursday 4th July WA V QLD Court 4 4:30pm
Friday 5th July Semi Final 1st V 2nd Court 1 4:30pm
Friday 5th July Semi FInal 3rd V 4th Court 2 4:30pm
Friday 5th July Preliminary Final Court 4 8:00pm
Saturday 6th July Grand Final Court 1 12:30pm