London youngsters benefit from Lord's Taverners Disability Cricket Championships
Over 80 young people from across eight London boroughs took part in the Lord’s Taverners Disability Cricket Championships (LTDCC), held at the MCC Cricket Academy, Lord’s this week, where Kingston (Surrey) won the title.
The LTDCC is a year-round cricket programme for young people aged 14-25 with a limiting disability, and has expanded into five new boroughs this year thanks to the support of the Berkeley Foundation, the charitable Foundation established and supported by the Berkeley Group.
With additional funding from the Wembley National Stadium Trust, Sport England and players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, LTDCC provides access to regular coaching and competition in local communities across London.
The programme helps participants to develop their physical fitness as well as confidence, motivation, self-esteem and communication skills, while local people are trained to become qualified coaches to make the programme self-reliant and sustainable.
Teams from the following boroughs took part in the finals:
The finals were won by Kingston who defeated Westminster in the final, winning by 33 runs.
Winning coach, Neil Mears, from Kingston commented on the day: “It’s an amazing opportunity for our guys, playing at the home of cricket. Since getting involved with the LTDCC in the spring their confidence has definitely come on and what I really noticed was the sportsmanship and attitude towards other teams. It’s been very special.”
Since its launch in 2013, the programme has provided accessible sporting opportunities, and the chance to play competitive cricket, for over 2,000 young people with a physical, learning, or sensory disability, across 23 London boroughs.
Funding from the Berkeley Foundation has enabled this expansion of the competition and in partnership with the London cricket boards (Middlesex, Surrey, Essex and Kent), plans are in place for all 32 London boroughs to be offering the programme within the next three years.
Stuart Cowen, Chief Executive of the Berkeley Foundation commented: “It is fantastic to see these teams competing and some new Boroughs taking part in the 2016 finals. It is great to see the programme reaching out to 24 Boroughs across London with the aim to reach all Boroughs in 2018. The Disability Cricket Championship is an outstanding programme that really does assist disabled young people to participate in sport, and lead fulfilling lives. Sport is a wonderful way for these youngsters to compete and work as part of a team – and you can see how much they enjoyed the day. The Berkeley Foundation is proud to partner the Lord’s Taverners in the programme and its expansion across London.”