Where There’s A Will inspired by Will Clarke
Will is a young man and lives with Autism Spectrum Disorder which means that most of his life he has been faced with significant challenges. In order for Will to participate we have always had to create the opportunity, and for Will, he has always had to rise to those challenges. With Wills tenacity and resilience, his love of life and his passionate love of sport, especially cricket, we started Where There’s A Will.
The idea was to teach Will skills through refurbishing cricket bats. It is now the catalyst for communities to learn how to change the way they see, include and support all people with intellectual and physical challenges.
He has since worked with over 500 artists, collected, refurbished and exhibited 550 cricket bats and has sold close to 500 stunning pieces of art on cricket bats, skateboards, baseball bats and outrigger paddles which range from painted, penciled, carved to amazing pieces that are sublime, beautiful to fanciful. He has worked with Prime Ministers, Archibald winners and finalists, UN Ambassadors, sportsmen and women, musicians, schools and people from all walks of life.
He has held 8 exhibitions including the International Cricket Hall of Fame in Bowral, Brightspace Gallery St Kilda Victoria, Kiama NSW, Timbermill Studios Bulli NSW, Perth in Western Australia, Warooka in the Southern Yorke Peninsula South Australia, Robertson in NSW. and Rainbow in Central Victoria.
Willo has been featured on the ABC 7:30 Report on two occasions, Small Biz Secrets on SBS Australia, Channel 10 Win News and numerous ABC Radio interviews in the Illawarra, Sydney and Perth. He has been interviewed and featured in many local media outlets including Highlife Magazine and live reports at his showings on ABC Illawarra Radio with Nick Rheinberger. A two month long display at the International Cricket Hall of Fame in Bowral and the Bowral Bookstore witnessed people coming from all over Australia to see the bats first hand in their window display.
Neil Kearney and Channel 7 featured the Willo story in the 2020 test series in January and recently a Willo bat was presented to the High Commissioner in Australia House, London.
Not only has Will rallied together a massive community throughout Australia, he has created more awareness about the ability in the disability, the need for communities to come together to integrate and support those living with differences and, he has combined our love of cricket and art into amazing exhibitions.
Willo Cricket Bats are currently selling direct from the International Cricket Hall of Fame in Bowral NSW and the Robertson Pub in Robertson NSW.
Will has engaged with the local mens shed in Bowral, Robertson and Minlaton and numerous schools to help with the sanding of the bats and to mentor people with intellectual disabilities to increase their skills.
Willo has partnered with numerous disability support providers across Australia to become a place of skill development and mentoring for young people living with intellectual disabilities. Refurbishing, packaging and sourcing the bats as the demand grows for exhibitions around Australia. Willo services are being created in partnership with Yorke Peninsula Leisure Options SA, Woodbine Inc Warracknabeal Victoria and the not for profit “Robertson Community Garden” in Robertson NSW.
Willo has now transitioned from a simple cause to “Where There’s a Will Ltd” a national charity. All funds raised assist in creating more choice and options where there is complete collaboration and responsibility from our communities.
Meet Will Clarke
Will is 24 years old and has played and loved sport his whole life. Will lives under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder which means he cannot read or write and finds conversational communication challenging. His fine and gross motor skills are affected which means he cannot regulate his shower, do the most basic daily tasks and requires assistance with certain aspects of his daily life.
He is anxious when their is uncertainty and fiercley independent. He is 6’4, has a younger sister Phoebe, devoted parents, a family who accept him exactly the way he is and have witnessed him face significant challenges and a severe lack of choice.
Will has captained his school, selected as sports person of the year numerous times, rides a horse, competes in 3rd grade cricket in Robertson NSW, competed in the Willo 25km mountain biking race, played an african drum, worked as a labourer, has performed in the SING music concert, and now …refurbishes cricket bats and is the inspiration of a thriving new Charity, Where There’s a Will, which has an international following.
People often talk about Willo as a young man with a presence. He is engaging, loves to participate, has no ego or judgement and loves to hug. You naturally gravitate to his smile, his integrity and love of life.
How to be a Willo Artist
Creating a piece of artwork on a cricket bat is open to anyone who would like to work with Willo. There are no rules or restrictions and the bat will be supplied by Willo ready to paint.
You don’t need to be an artist… you simply need to want to be involved and have an interest in making a difference.
You may know someone who would love to paint, either way let us know and we will send you a bat meticulously refurbished by our team throughout Australia.
Please contact us to register your interest.
How to be a Willo Community
Willo is now working across Australia to unite communities and raise more awareness around intellectual disabilities and inclusion.
The Willo Community is a collection of artists within a community who want to support the cause. Each artist is given a bat refurbished by Willo and his team. They have the option to paint or create some artwork and the bat is put into an Exhibition conducted in the community.
There is an organiser who we liaise with and they are the contact point to communicate and help organise the exhibition. If you would like to be a Willo Community please contact us.
How to send us your bats
We source the second hand bats from schools, cricket clubs, privately and through communities.
We have a drop off station at the International Cricket Hall of Fame in Bowral, and bats can also be picked up anywhere throughout Australia.
Any old bats will be welcomed and bats that have been left in sheds and unused or potentially to be thrown out will be recycled and given a beautiful new purpose and home.
If you would like to send us a bat directly please contact us.
We were honoured to have the Commissioner of Resilience NSW accept a Willo cricket bat at The Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame on the 7th October. Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons is all and everything we had come to know as the face of the 2020...
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Belinda Eckermann took the lead for pulling together the Rainbow Bats for Will Exhibition and in doing so inspired the largest number of artists to date to paint for Will at one showing. Just over 90 existing and new creatives came from far and wide but predominately...