Super 1s programme launched
England and Middlesex fast bowler Toby Roland-Jones was joined by county team mates Nick Gubbins, John Simpson and Tom Barber to help launch a new disability cricket programme launched by the Lord's Taverners.
The quartet launched Super 1s - a national project that will allow young people with disabilities the chance to play regular cricket run by the UK's leading youth cricket and disability sports charity.
Super1s will bring cricket to more young people with disabilities across the country than ever before and speaking at the launch, Roland-Jones said: "Super 1s offers young people with disabilities the chance to experience life skills you get from playing cricket, including playing as part of a team, making friends and the fun you can have when working together."
Super 1s gives young people with disabilities aged 12-25 the chance to play cricket regularly. By creating community cricket hubs, delivered weekly by the county cricket boards, the programme gives disabled young people the chance to compete against their peers, enjoy the benefits of sport and live a more active life.
Lord's Taverners ambassador Simpson added: "The work the Lord's Taverners do is amazing and the Super 1s programme is testament to that. It's special to be here as an ambassador today helping to raise awareness of Super 1s."
The new, ground-breaking programme will benefit youngsters in all aspects of their life; it has been proved that engaging in regular sport helps young people develop personal skills, including confidence, leadership, and independence.
For many young people with disabilities, opportunities to take part in regular competitive sport can be limited. But the Super 1s programme has created a new pathway for disabled young people to play the game. The new national programme builds on the work that the Lord's Taverners, in partnership with Essex, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey Cricket Boards, have been delivering across London since 2013, which remains a core element of the new programme.
Since 2014, the programme has been funded by the Berkeley Foundation, Sport England and The Wembley National Stadium Trust. As well as running disability cricket sessions in all 32 London boroughs Super 1s is now being taken to young people outside of the capital. Further support from the Berkeley Foundation has helped establish hubs in Warwickshire, and the programme is also being delivered in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk, Sussex, and Greater Manchester with activity also starting in Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Yorkshire in the coming months.
Lord's Taverners Disability Project Manager and England visually impaired cricketer, Mark Bond, had this to say on the new Super 1s programme: "Super 1s will not only get more young people with a disability playing cricket, but in doing so will provide them with crucial skills that will empower them to live independent and fulfilling lives."
Sally Dickinson, Head of Berkeley Foundation, added: "The Berkeley Foundation has supported the disability cricket programme since 2014. We started with just four hubs and now the programme is bringing new sporting opportunities to young people across the whole of London. The launch of the national Super 1s programme today means that many more disabled young people across the country will benefit."
Find out more about Super 1s here.