A review of our Disability Cricket programme in 2017
Lord’s Taverners Disability Cricket programme has seen widespread growth in 2017, as the programme has expanded to counties outside of London. The programme has spread to Sussex, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
Total participant attendances have risen by 86% and the number of unique participants is up 38%. The expansion out of the capital, as well as expansion within London, has seen the number of taster sessions being run rise by 54% and the number of weekly ‘hub’ sessions seeing a significant 189% increase.
During 2017, all 32 London boroughs have participated in the programme. 22 of those were established in previous years and ran weekly coaching ‘hub’ sessions, the remaining 10 joined the programme this year, running taster sessions to introduce the programme in their area.
The culmination of the London programme, funded by the Berkeley Foundation, was the LTDCC finals day at Lord’s cricket ground in October. The contenders were from Bexley, Croydon, Kingston, Westminster, Ealing, Hackney, Newham and Wandsworth. The tournament was played with a strong sense of competitiveness and excitement, with Ealing, playing in the finals for the first time, just beating last year’s winners Kingston in the final.
Lewis Williams (13), is autistic and lives with high anxiety and Tourette’s syndrome if under stress. Lewis had a very small circle of friends before he started playing cricket and very rarely went out, as he does not read social signs well and had difficulty making friends. Playing cricket with the Bexley team through our Disability Cricket programme has really made a difference to him and helped him work through this problem.
Lewis’ mother Karen said: “His Tourette’s has improved significantly since he started playing. He is enjoying being among team members and coaches who accept him and are his friends.”
Dom Taylor, his coach, says Lewis is a huge asset to the team: “He is a pleasure to coach and his improvement and achievements are noticeable on a weekly basis. Lewis obviously loves being part of the team and the confidence that comes from this has considerably helped significantly improve his social and communication skills.”