Rob delivers some coaching drills at a Super 1s session.jpg

Meet the Development Officer

We recently caught up with Warwickshire Super 1s Development Officer, Rob Eynon, who's been running Super 1s in Warwickshire since the beginning of 2023.

When did you start as the Warwickshire Disability Cricket Development Officer? 

I started as Disability Development Officer in January. I had worked for the Warwickshire Cricket Board full time since 2021 as a Schools Community Coach but once I had some experience of working in a SEND setting, it made me realise that I wanted to work more with children and young adults with a disability. 

Where are the Warwickshire hubs located, and why do we run hubs in these locations? 

We started the year with one Super 1s hub at Edgbaston, this has been running for a while and has an excellent core of players who now take part in Super 1s and make up the Warwickshire Super 9s team. They play in the Midlands Regional group and have won all five of their games this season. We used to have a hub in Coventry but that hadn’t been running for a while so one of my first jobs was to get that back up and running on a more regular basis. With the help of the amazing coaching group at Bablake Cricket Club in Coventry, we now have sessions running every Monday throughout the year.  

When looking at a map of Warwickshire I noticed that we needed more hubs in the four corners of the county. We started two hubs in Solihull, the first in Knowle, which caters for South Solihull and the second in Castle Bromwich, which covers the north area of Solihull. These started in May and are growing with support of local schools and community groups. 

To cover the north of the county we have a hub starting at Sutton Coldfield College from September whilst we are indoors, with a move outdoors to Sutton Coldfield CC when the summer starts! We had a lot of interest in a hub in the south of the county (towards the Warwick/Leamington area) after a really successful afternoon of delivery at a youth disability festival held by Hunningham CC, which we were kindly invited to. Hopefully we’ll be able to get a hub in the area up and running in the not to distant future. 

We now see around 50 participants a week engaged in the programme across our four hubs, and we expect that number to continue growing as we expand across the county. 


Talk us through a typical Super 1s session.. 

Our sessions always start with a catch up from last week, this helps our players focus on their progress. It also allows any new participants the chance to find out what has been going on and get settled in before starting to play. We will usually start with a fun warm up, getting everyone involved in the action. This will then lead on to some skills practise and end with a game, where we try and get the parents involved in the action! We also tie in a life skills workshop to the activity – for example, a road safety workshop may be carried out by participants practicing their catching to each other but have a player attempting to cross over as they make their way down the road between the catchers. 

As we know, Super 1s goes beyond just getting young people living with a disability playing cricket. What other benefits are there for participants who get involved with the programme and why is a programme like Super 1s so important? 

I think the main benefit of Super 1s is how it helps young people with a disability build social skills. We find that players are very quiet when they first join but we pride ourselves on making new participants feel really welcome and try to integrate them into activities straight away. We soon see friendships build and participants become more confident, not only personally but also in the cricket skills they are learning, as a result. 

What has the feedback been from participants and their families on the level of enjoyment and impact of Super 1s? 

We get brilliant responses from the parents of participants who have been engaged in the programme this year. Below are just some of the comments we’ve received: 

Joanne Myatt: “Rebecca looks forward to going to Super 1s every Monday. She loves being outdoors and this is perfect for her. Meeting new people, learning something new and encouraging them to work as a team. There isn’t much else out there for kids with a disability and it’s such a nice thing you're doing for them. They all have smiles on their faces when they're there. 

Kavitha Ramaswamy: “Aditi finds the sessions fun and enjoyable. She looks forward to meeting other kids and it helps with her social skills and confidence. It's definitely helping with her physical fitness (core strength, hand eye coordination, reflexes, concentration) all in a friendly, relaxed and fun way. Not to mention all the sessions are free!! 

Anna Gunning: “It is extremely hard for Simon to participate in sport despite his love of cricket in particular. But Super 1s is now the highlight of his week. It's wonderful for him to be able to know what it feels like to be part of a team where it is at his level and there is the accommodation of his needs. It's been eye opening for him to be with older kids and see how they've grown into happy people despite having gone through similar challenges to what he's going through. And to be with likeminded people who love cricket with the same deep intensity he does.”  

Justin Barnes: “Being diagnosed with a disability at eight years old has been really hard for Noah. Being mentally scarred is challenging as a child and being around other people with similar disabilities, and getting the chance to speak to them, has proved life changing and amazing for his confidence and mental health.” 

One of many table cricket participants who has benefitted from the Warwickshire disability cricket offer.JPG

Are there opportunities for participants or parents to train up as coaches and get that experience through Super 1s?  

There are ways for participants and parents to train up. We have recently had three of our participants complete the ECB Support Coach course which is a great entry onto the coaching pathway. I would love them to continue their development and ultimately be coaching in schools in the next few years. 

What has been the most rewarding part of your role? 

I think the most rewarding part of my job comes in two parts. The moment that new participants realise they can actually play and belong in doing something fun, creative and active is a massive thing for me. The second comes when I see moments of teamwork without it being prompted. We try and build the person and not just the player so to see moments of selflessness and empathy from our participants is amazing! 

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced in the role? 

I feel the biggest challenge is usually distance. Getting people to hubs that are convenient but with great facilities, can sometimes be difficult. It's not always the location of a school that denotes a participant’s location as they will sometimes travel many miles to get to a specialist school, as an example. Its why I’m trying to get hubs in all the corners of Warwickshire to try and eliminate the barriers for participation as much as we can. 


Work is ongoing to be in a position to deliver table cricket hubs in the county soon.JPG

What’s next for Super 1s in Warwickshire? 

Its set to be a big next 12 months in Warwickshire. I'm hoping for more Super 1s hubs to be available along with some table cricket hubs. I am really looking for more clubs for our participants so they can access hard ball cricket to ensure they can still develop once they leave softball cricket. I'm also looking forward to getting into more new schools and spreading the word that cricket really is a game for all. 

See the impact Super 1s is having

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