DISABILITY CRICKET CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Lord's Taverners Disability Cricket Championships (LTDCC), launched in 2012, aims to provide disabled young people aged 12-25 the opportunity to engage in cricket within a community hub environment, providing regular opportunities to compete with other groups across London. The programme is run in partnership with the Essex, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey County Cricket Boards.

The programme launched in four London boroughs and aims to be active in all 32 London boroughs by September 2018. Each active community hub provides year-round provision and competitive opportunities. There are four competition zones across the city (North, East, South and West), with competitions happening throughout the year. From these four areas, eight teams qualify for the final, which for the last two years has been held at the Home of Cricket, Lord’s.

The aims of the programme go far beyond providing competition. Through engaging in sport regularly with their peers, disabled young people are able to improve key life skills such as confidence, independence and leadership, as well as improving their fitness. Many of the young people who have been engaged in the programme now act as role models for the next group of participants, whether as a player, coach or volunteer. This is a crucial element of the programme, as it empowers the young people to realise what they can achieve, regardless of their disability.

The programme has benefited from partnership funding from the Berkeley Foundation and additional support from Sport England and the Wembley National Stadium Trust.

Following the success of the programme in London, we have now taken it to Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Sussex, and over the next 12 months, the disability programme will be expanded nationally with new projects being delivered in Manchester and Birmingham.

For more details please email Cricket Programmes Executive, Mark Bond or call 020 7025 0020.

SAM ALDERSON

Sam lives with TAR syndrome (a rare genetic disorder that is characterised by the absence of a radius bone in each forearm) and thought his chances of playing cricket were over when he became a wheelchair user, but our Disability Cricket Championships (LTDCC) has given him a new lease of life.

sam alderson bowling for his bexley team at the indoor school, lord's cricket ground for disability cricket championships

He had not played this form of cricket before but after two weeks of training with Bexley coach Dom Taylor, both his skills and self-confidence quickly improved.

Sam demonstrated his commitment to Bexley when he continued to attend his team sessions to learn and support, even when he is injured. The whole team respects Sam and his infectious confidence settles down what can be an excitable team before any training session or competition.

All of this resulted in Sam being named captain for the 2016 LTDCC finals, where he also won the Most Improved Player award, and representing the Kent Learning and Physically Disabled team in the ECB Super 9s competition.