Mark speaks at the Super 1s Awards Evening at Lord's.jpg

CEO message – April 2024

Hi all,

It’s been quite the month of activity for us with a huge amount of positive news to update you on that I can’t wait to tell you more about. There have been a number of significant success stories in addition to the impact we’re having UK wide on a weekly basis through our community cricket programme delivery.

The regional phase of our National Table Cricket competition is now complete. We hosted nine heats covering Exeter to Durham, with three taking place at international cricket grounds (Edgbaston, Headingley and Old Trafford) and at the birthplace of the Paralympics - Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Buckinghamshire, where young people living with a disability had the incredible experience to represent their school in a regional competition with the ultimate prize awaiting the winners of a National Finals Day at Lord’s on 27 June.

Congratulations to every player, teacher, volunteer and member of staff involved in these memorable events. I was fortunate enough to attend a few and it really did come across just how important and impactful these opportunities for young people living with a disability are. If you haven’t attended our annual National Table Cricket Finals Day at Lord’s before, I couldn’t recommend the experience of witnessing it more, so please do circle that one in the calendar and join us for the day if you can, further information is available by clicking here.

In the middle of our Table Cricket regional competition fortnight was one of the biggest (if not the biggest) fundraising days in the calendar for charities nationwide. The 2024 London Marathon was our biggest yet with a record 67 runners taking to the streets of the nation’s capital to complete what is a six-month long journey to the finish line in both a fundraising and running sense.

I am delighted and overwhelmed to say our amazing team has raised an incredible £150,000 and counting so far. It was an honour to host those that were able to join us for a Marathon team celebration at our base in Victoria after the run to mark all their successes and efforts where they were welcomed back and congratulated by our President David Gower. So, a big, big thank you to all of our runners, their families, friends and organisations who have supported and donated to them, and to our staff for stewarding them along the journey to Marathon Day this winter which culminated in that very special race day. You can still donate to our heroic team here if you wish and you can get in touch with the team if you’d like to run it again, for the first-time next year or in the future if you’ve been inspired by the achievements of our 2024 team.

To continue on the theme of significant income, we were delighted to hear of the news that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a government pledge to significantly invest into English recreational and grassroots cricket to the tune of c£35m. Within this our disability cricket offer will benefit from c£2m of that funding. This Government funding will allow us to supercharge our offer and continue to grow our reach, having an even greater impact on tens of thousands of young people – creating more opportunities to demonstrate that young people living with a disability can thrive thanks to what the game of cricket can offer – something our founders talked about when the Lord’s Taverners was founded way back in 1950.

At the announcement itself, where participants from all three cricket charities engaged in activity at the Oval, the Prime Minister himself said to me and others that this is a significant endorsement of the cricket charities including Lord’s Taverners and demonstrates that we are trusted as the leading experts in the field of grassroots disability cricket delivery. Recent research commissioned by the ECB supports this, with numerous teachers and pupils from SEND schools across the country emphasising the importance and impact of our work on young people with a disability and how widening access to cricket has so many wider benefits on their personal development and provides skills and characteristics that they also take into the classroom and their communities.

The confidence that both the ECB, and now central government, have shown to have in us to continue delivering our programmes couldn’t be more evident than it is now. So, it’s another big thank you and well done to everyone who has played their part in ensuring we’ve got ourselves into this position as we go from strength to strength with our disability cricket programmes.

Sadly, I end my notes this month on a more sombre note. We were all so very sad to hear about the passing of three legendary Taverners who have been integral to the charity’s growth and the game of cricket. Our sincerest condolences go to the family and friends of Derek Underwood, Raman Subba Row and founding Lady Taverners President Joan Morecambe. It has been heartwarming to read some very special tributes that have been paid to each of them by fellow Taverners, which you can read on our website by clicking on their names which are linked within this paragraph. Rest in peace Derek, Raman and Joan and thank you for all you have done for the Taverners over your lifetimes.

All three would be proud of where the charity is today and the incredible legacy they have all contributed to.

Thank you taking the time to read this month’s update from me. I look forward to seeing you at some programme or fundraising related activity very soon in what promises to be another huge bumper summer for the Tavs.

Best wishes,



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