Sir Trevor Brooking cheers on Essex youngsters at table cricket heat
Pupils at Columbus School and College in Chelmsford had a memorable day this week, as former international footballer Sir Trevor Brooking joined them for a Lord's Taverners table cricket heat on Tuesday (6 February).
Five schools from Essex participated in the competition; Thriftwood School, Hilldene School, Redden Court School, Whitefield School, and a team from the Essex-based hosts. Over 40 disabled young people participated on the day, with Whitefield Schools emerging victorious in a tense finish, winning on count back after hitting more sixes than Redden Court after their scores were tied. They will now move on to the next round of the competition, the regional final next month, where they will be in with a chance of making the national finals.
The Lord's Taverners table cricket competition is heating up as the county competitions are held this month, before regional finals in March and April. The main goal is, of course, qualifying for a chance to play in the national finals in June, which are held at the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground. The national competition, made possible thanks to the support of players of the People's Postcode Lottery, Ford and Liberty Mutual Insurance, is now in its 20th year and more than 300 schools will take part in the regional heats to qualify for the finals.
Ex-England and West Ham United legend, Sir Trevor Brooking, who joined in with a match to get a taste of the action, said: "The matches have been great to watch and there have been lots of fours and sixes scored. It's great to see the children having fun playing table cricket".
Table cricket is played on a table tennis table with side panels and sliding fielders, a ball launcher, weighted plastic ball and wooden bat, table cricket enables young people with severe physical and learning disabilities to enjoy cricket and represent their school on a competitive basis.