Players, coaches and volunteers recognised at LTDCC Awards
The boroughs of Kingston, Bexley and Richmond all saw youngsters and volunteers honoured at the annual Lord's Taverners Disability Cricket Championships (LTDCC) Awards held at the Kia Oval this week (8 November).
The LTDCC, run in partnership with the Berkeley Foundation - the charitable foundation established and supported by the Berkeley Group – is a year round cricket programme for disabled young people aged 14-25. With additional support from the Wembley National Stadium Trust, Sport England and players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, the LTDCC provides access to regular coaching and competition in local communities across London thanks to partnerships with the Essex, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey county cricket boards.
Since its launch in 2013, the programme has provided the chance to play cricket, for nearly 2,000 young people with a physical, learning, or sensory disability, across 18 London boroughs. The LTDCC has recently expanded to run across 23 London Boroughs with a view to running in all 32 boroughs in the next three years.
On the night, three awards went to the borough of Kingston, James Grindrod (Player of the Year), Neil Mears (LTDCC Special Contribution Award) and the Kingston team (2016 competition winners) all received recognition for their performances and efforts during the 2016 LTDCC.
Three awards also headed to Bexley as Sam Alderson (Most Improved Player), Katie Halford (Spirit of Cricket Award) and Dom Taylor (Coach of the Year) all reaped the rewards of the LTDCC expansion in Kent during the last six months.
On receiving his award, Sam said: “I was shocked, it made my day! I only started playing cricket six months ago and it was pure luck that I found the club. I was looking in the local newspapers and saw an article about the club and what they were doing so thought I’d give it a go. I didn’t even think I could play cricket because of the chair and thought the limitations would be too much. But my coach Dom was really good with me when I first started and I took it from there.”
Volunteer of the Year Award went to Henry Codrington (Hounslow & Richmond) for being a fantastic role model for young people at his borough's sessions and regularly volunteering for the Middlesex Cricket Board, and the Community Partnership Award was won by Camden, an award which was received by the Worshipful the Mayor of the London Borough of Camden, Councillor Nadia Shah.
Stuart Cowen, Chief Executive of the Berkeley Foundation said: "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 this year’s championships. Hearing what the award winners have put into the sport is humbling – they are all worthy winners and inspirations to everyone for 2017. The Berkeley Foundation is proud to partner the Lord’s Taverners in the programme and to have supported its growth in London from 4 to 23 Boroughs in three years.”
Rob Perrins, Managing Director of Berkeley Homes and Chairman of the Berkeley Foundation encapsulated the importance of the championship in his awards speech: “Some of the young players have used this as a springboard to even greater things. We have young people from the programme now competing at County level and others have chosen to go into coaching and re-invest in other young people. For Berkeley, working like this with young people has become a fundamental part of what we do. It adds value to our business and to our lives.”