Lord's Taverners and Surrey Cricket Foundation launch cricket programme for visually impaired cricketers
Former Surrey and England cricketer Zafar Ansari was back at the Kia Oval this week to take part in a visually impaired (VI) cricket session to help the Lord’s Taverners and the Surrey Cricket Foundation launch a new programme for VI cricket.
In conjunction with the Surrey Cricket Foundation, we’re launching a pilot programme aimed at enhancing the opportunities to play cricket for those who are blind or visually impaired.
Involvement in cricket and being part of a team, is hugely beneficial from a social, emotional and physical point of view. The confidence gained can lead to a more positive outlook and a greater sense of achievement, all of which help to empower young people to achieve their potential, in and out of cricket.
The number of people playing blind cricket in the UK has grown over the last few years, however, there are still many blind and visually impaired young people who are unaware of the opportunities available to them, or are unable to access them. Working in partnership with the Surrey Cricket Foundation, we are piloting a project that will raise the awareness of blind cricket, and provide regular coaching opportunities for anyone with a visual impairment across the county.
Blind cricketer, Hassan Khan, who plays for Surrey and is an England international, is looking forward to getting more people involved in the game: "When I started there were around 60 VI cricketers playing regularly. 13 years later we now have over 400.’
‘With this ground-breaking project, I believe this number will most certainly increase. The partnership between Surrey and the Lord’s Taverners is a wonderful thing to be involved with, as it's aimed at finding young VI people who would like to play this beautiful and life changing game.”
Lord’s Taverners Cricket Executive and England visually impaired cricketer, Mark Bond, said: “Blind cricket has given me the opportunity to travel the world playing cricket for my country, but far more than that it has given me the skills and confidence to live and travel independently, and to pursue a rewarding career.’
‘These were all things that I did not think were possible until I was introduced to blind cricket. The sport provided me with inspirational role models, who changed my perception of what a young person with a disability could achieve. Working closely with the existing Surrey Blind cricket team, we will be able to support blind and visually impaired young people to fulfil their potential, both on and off the pitch.”
Following on from the session at the Kia Oval, more regular sessions will now take place at:
Trinity School (Croydon) from 2-4pm on:
- 12 August
- 26 August
- 9 September
- 23 September
Winston Sports Centre (Woking) from 1-3pm on:
- 2 September
- 30 September
If you are interested in getting involved in blind cricket in Surrey, or know someone who is, please register your interest by emailing Gavin Reynolds - firstname.lastname@example.org
For those of you that don’t live in Surrey, if you’d like information on VI cricket opportunities in your area please contact Mark Bond on 020 7025 0000 or via email.