Disabled young Londoners set to benefit from revolutionary cricket programme

11th Nov 2013
Disabled young Londoners set to benefit from revolutionary cricket programme

A new community sports initiative supported by the Wembley National Stadium Trust, aimed at engaging over 640 disabled people across London, will launch later this month. The Lord’s Taverners Disability Cricket Championships (LTDCC) will provide – for the first time – a regular year-round competition and coaching programme for disabled Londoners.

According to national figures, only 18% of disabled people take part in sport at least once a week compared with 39% of non-disabled people1. While 70% of disabled people claim they would like to participate in more sporting activities, 60% cite a lack of available opportunities as the main barrier to them doing so.

The Lord’s Taverners Disability Cricket Championships will address the gap in cricket provision specifically targeting those aged 14 – 25 with a limiting disability by providing access to regular coaching and competition in local communities. The UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity, the Lord’s Taverners, will run the programme in an innovative partnership with the County Cricket Boards of Essex, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey, with support from Interactive, to develop and deliver sustainable disability cricket opportunities.

By providing more competitive cricket opportunities within the disabled community, the LTDCC will help young people with disabilities to develop confidence, motivation, self-esteem and communication skills while empowering local communities. The programme will train and recruit locals to become qualified coaches, making the competition both self-reliant and sustainable.

Wembley National Stadium Trust has pledged £80,000 over the next 3 years to support the programme which will help to provide key opportunities for disabled people, challenging barriers to participation, promoting playing opportunities and allowing players to represent their local communities. The competition will initially be launched in Southwark, Newham, Greenwich and Tower Hamlets with a view to expanding to all 32 London boroughs in the near future.

Paul Robin, Chief Executive of the Lord’s Taverners commented: “The Lord’s Taverners has a proud history of supporting disability cricket so I am delighted that this new initiative for London has won support from the Wembley National Stadium Trust as well as the four County Cricket Boards that we shall be partnering. We believe that all children benefit from playing competitive sport: physical disability should not be a barrier.

Lord Toby Harris, Chairman of WNST said: “WNST is currently supporting a number of significant projects aimed at increasing the opportunities for disabled Londoners to give sport a try.  We also know that young disabled people, in particular, want to take part in competitive sport.  That is why we are so pleased to be supporting the Lord’s Taverners with their work to make cricket more accessible.  We very much look forward to seeing the work develop.

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