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Bridget’s Hectic Diary

Bridget Patterson understands what it takes to be an elite sportswoman in Australia.
And it’s quite a balancing act.

Not only a rising star of State cricket, Patterson, 23, is also a recently-graduated sports turf trainee, working full-time for the South Australian Cricket Association while juggling her blossoming sporting career.

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Fresh from completing a Certificate III in sports turf management, Patterson was nominated by SACA grounds manager Justin Groves for the Sports Turf Association’s National Graduate of the Year award for her work ethic, passion and commitment to her craft.

“I enjoy my job because I get to make pitches for the game I love – it is so satisfying preparing and presenting a ground for a weekend match and then getting feedback from players and officials on how it looks,” said Patterson, who would next like to complete her diploma in sports turf management.

Patterson, an opening batter for the South Australian Scorpions, was rewarded for her hard work, being chosen as SA’s representative for the prestige award. She was invited to compete for national honours at the Sports Turf Association’s annual conference on the Sunshine Coast in June, facing up to a four-strong panel.

“Unfortunately I didn’t win the national award but to be South Australian Graduate of the Year was enough – I never expected to be recognised that highly,” said Patterson.

“One day I would love to go to England and get some experience creating wickets in different conditions. Eventually it would be great to become head curator of a stadium but obviously playing cricket is my No. 1 priority right now.”

Groves and Scorpions coach Andrea McCauley commended Patterson for the way she balances her commitments, with McCauley praising her professionalism.

“Bridge is very good at her job. She’s a workhorse and takes that attitude into training as well. I think having her work at the SACA is great because, obviously, everyone wants the same thing – they want our elite teams to be successful – so the flexibility from the groundskeeping team around Bridge’s cricket commitments has been brilliant.”

Once you get to know Bridget, there’s no surprise she is successful in multiple areas of her life. She is driven, controlled and loathes failure. She demonstrates passion on and off the field, with a desire to push herself to be the best she can.

Patterson in 2014 gained her first taste of international cricket when she made Australian national development squad the Shooting Stars. Last year she was chosen for the Stars’ Sri Lankan tour, along with fellow Scorpions Tahlia McGrath, Amanda-Jade Wellington and Alex Price.

An important cog in the Adelaide Strikers machine since the inception of the Women’s Big Bash League, Patterson is also honing her wicketkeeping skills for State level, after spending some time behind the stumps with Kensington in Premier Cricket.

McCauley has encouraged Patterson to add the extra skill to her repertoire.

Talented South Australian Bridget Patterson thumps a boundary against Queensland last summer.

The fans love it as Bridget Patterson signs autographs after the Strikers’ clash with Sydney Sixers at Adelaide Oval.

“Bridget was a keeper at State level in under-15s and under-18s. She has dabbled in it since then but now she has decided she is going to be serious about it and keep consistently at club level, giving her the opportunity to be a Scorps backup keeper,” McCauley said.

“I think it’s an opportunity if she is really serious about playing at the next level – I think she needs two strings to her bow.”

Patterson has been working closely with former South African Test allrounder Johan Botha to improve her batting and has also enlisted the wicketkeeping prowess of Tim and Harry Nielsen.

A Scorpion standout during pre-season, Patterson’s fitness is at such a high level she has been decimating her personal bests.

“We are working really hard. All that will pay off when we go out to face the first ball. I just can’t wait to play some cricket again,” Patterson said.

“I’m looking forward to getting back into keeping this year – I love it because you’re constantly in the game. Maybe Midgey (Scorpions captain and wicketkeeper Tegan McPharlin) will have to work harder for her spot,” laughed Patterson.

“I’m confident, feeling fit and healthy and I just really want to play. Bring on October!”