James’ Super 1s journey began in 2014, when he started attending the Kingston hub. He represented his hub at many Super 1s competitions and won the Player of the Year award in 2016. He has now gone on to play for Surrey’s disability team, invited to train with the England disability squad and found employment.
But it is James’ development away from cricket that makes him such a fantastic role model for his peers. Once he left school, he took on more of a leadership role; attending sessions as a mentor for the younger participants. In 2018, James took up a 2-week work placement assisting coaches at a range of sessions, helping co-ordinate and deliver the first Super 1s National Final. He recently completed a 6-month industry placement with Lord’s Taverners, spending one day per week at head office, working with a variety of teams across the organisation.
For a young person living with autism, a busy office environment can be a very daunting place, but the way James embraced both the work he undertook, and the social aspect of the workplace, show just how far he has come. He’s no longer the shy teenager who didn’t want to join in at his first cricket session. Following his placement, James secured his first full time job with a local school.
“We are really proud of James’ achievements. During his work experience with Lord’s Taverners, his confidence and ability to deal with a variety of situations in the professional world grew significantly. He is a fantastic example of what Super 1s is all about and highlights the long-term impact the programme can have. We are excited to see him continue to be a role model and inspire others in his new role.”
Henry Hazlewood, Head of Cricket Programmes, Lord’s Taverners