New Zealand cricketing trailblazer Susie Bates loves visiting her hometown of Dunedin. She puts this down to being able to spend hard-earned time with her friends and family and loving a good cup of coffee and an excellent cafe culture.
“When I am away I miss the laid back and easy lifestyle of Dunedin. You tend to take for granted the ease at which you can get from place to place to run errands or catch up with friends and family for a quick coffee and generally parking is not too difficult; this attitude also always tends to make me late to everything as I try to squeeze so much into a day!
“I also miss the amount of decent coffee available. In England a good coffee out of London is near impossible to find!”
Suzie likes to visit lots of different places (avoiding the busy times when possible); her favourite spots for coffee, breakfast or lunch include Standard Kitchen, Allpress, Tuppence and the Perc Exchange.
“I love the outdoors and enjoy heading to Tomahawk on a nice day and walking or running up and down the beach, anywhere with a view of the water is always a good spot; we are pretty lucky in Dunedin with the beaches and harbour. A favourite spot for Mum and Murphy (our dog) is walking down to Maia from the stadium alongside the harbour”.
“I am a born and bred Dunedin girl and as much as I love to travel and get to spend time in some pretty cool cities around the world there is no place like home; the people make the place.”
Some of you might not know who Suzie Bates is, but you should.
Not only is she the captain of the White Ferns but she is also one of world’s greatest female cricket players. In 2015 she was named by Wisden as the leading female cricketer in the world and last year New Zealand Cricket awarded Suzie both the ICC Women’s ODI and T20 Player of the Year – making her the first cricketer to earn both.
Suzie is not just a talented cricketer; in 2008 she competed at the Beijing Olympics as a member of the New Zealand Tall Ferns basketball team.
Suzie has fought to give females a stage within cricket and sport generally, often proving the nay-sayers wrong. Fighting for sponsorship was always difficult but after seven years playing for New Zealand she was finally able to turn her dedication and passion into a semi-professional career. She was the first Otago cricketer to be considered professional and the first New Zealand female cricketer to ever “go pro”.
Now Suzie spends most of her year offshore playing cricket in Australia, India and currently England but her hometown Dunedin is never far from her mind. When home catching up with friends and her large family is what makes Suzie most happy; she also enjoys giving back to her community, teaching and inspiring the next generation of females (future cricket players or not) to live their dreams and fight for their passions.
Suzie is not the only sportswoman in her family. Little sister Olivia plays for the South Beko netball team and was called into the winning Southern Steel for the final stages of this year’s ANZ Premiership. Another Bates succeeding on the national sporting stage - great for sport and awesome for Dunedin!
Story by Buchan & Co