National Table Cricket Finals at the home of cricket
In a thrilling showcase of sporting inclusivity, we recently hosted our National Table Cricket Finals at the home of cricket, Lord’s.
The event brought together 10 teams from across the country to compete for the coveted national title. With the aim of providing opportunities for young people with disabilities to participate in cricket and benefit from all the personal development opportunities that brings, the finals perfectly demonstrated how we’re empowering young people facing inequality.
The national finals was a culmination of months of hard work and dedication by the participating teams. Each team, representing their respective regions, showcased their exceptional skills, determination, and passion for the game. The atmosphere inside Lord’s was incredible as players, teachers, and supporters eagerly anticipated the intense matches that lay ahead.
“I’ve got a lot of challenges, it’s made me a lot happier, and I've made a few more friends”
“I really like seeing other people here with disabilities as well, because then I feel as if I'm not on my own”
Participants displayed remarkable teamwork, adaptability, and resilience throughout the competition. A special mention must go out to Falkirk School who eagerly set off from home as the first team to represent Scotland at Finals Day, only to be let down by cancelled flights and subsequently miss the competition. They did however, still make an appearance at the end of the day, where they received a huge welcome and were still able to collect their medals and t-shirts. A true showcase of grit, determination and love for the sport, we hope to see them in the near future to provide them with the opportunity to play at Lord’s.
One unforgettable highlight of the event was the presence of England cricketer Reece Topley, who attended the finals. Topley not only played table cricket with the young participants but also presented the trophy and medals too. Topley's engagement and genuine interest in their games filled them with a sense of pride and motivation. Seeing a professional cricketer embrace table cricket and interact with them on an equal footing reinforced their belief that they too can achieve greatness in the sport.
The national final was contested by Wirral Grammar School (Cheshire) and Beckfoot School (Yorkshire). It was an exhilarating match which came down to the last ball, but it was the school from Cheshire who won their first ever national title after successfully defending the six required from the last ball.
The Wirral school’s captain Aidan Smith was ecstatic to lead his team to victory: “It’s amazing, going all the way down to the final ball and to win. The final was so nervy, but as soon as we got the ball in our hand I just knew. I had that feeling we would win, so I’m really happy"
"I've loved meeting people from all different schools and all different backgrounds. I’ve had so much fun, and the best bit was definitely going and getting that trophy. It was amazing!”
This was the first year that Wirral Grammar had competed in the competition, with teaching assistant Jonathan Taylor thrilled to see the pupils thriving on the big stage.
He added: “We can’t believe it. I was a nervous wreck in the final watching them all play, but me and the other members of staff are just so proud of the team. Our day has been absolutely fantastic - we’ve really enjoyed the experience. We travelled on Thursday and have made a proper occasion of it"
“It’s a lovely venue - it’s incredibly historic - and everybody has had an incredible time. It’s such a big deal for us to be here at the Home of Cricket.”
At the conclusion of a dramatic final, we celebrated the achievements of all the teams, and every participant left the event as a winner after an unforgettable day.