What is Super 1s?
Super1s gives young people aged 12-25 with disabilities the chance to regularly play cricket. By creating community cricket hubs for young people to receive coaching from county cricket boards, we give participants the chance to compete against peers and enjoy the benefits of sport and an active lifestyle.
For many young people with disabilities throughout the UK, opportunities to take part in regular competitive sport can be extremely limited.
The programme aims to:
- develop the physical and mental well-being of players
- help players make friends and engage with positive role models
- provide an environment for competition amongst peers
Launched in 2013, Super 1s was initially introduced in four London boroughs and is now delivered in all 32. It is also now active in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk and Sussex. In late 2017, the programme expanded into Greater Manchester and Warwickshire. Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Yorkshire will be the next locations to benefit from Super1s.
How it helps young people
Super 1s provides young people with a chance to realise their potential, both on and off the pitch. It enables them to discover what they can do, not what they can't, and become role models for their peers.
Engaging in regular sport helps all young people develop personal skills, including confidence, leadership and independence. For young people with disabilities the opportunity to do this can be very limited.
Competition is a key element of the Super 1s programme. It provides participants with the opportunity to compete and this gives them a real sense of achievement. Many of the Super 1s county and regional finals are held at iconic venues including Edgbaston, Emirates Old Trafford and Lord's.
Sam lives with TAR syndrome (a rare genetic disorder that is characterised by the absence of a radius bone in each forearm) and thought his chances of playing cricket were over when he became a wheelchair user, but Super 1s has given him a new lease of life.
He had not played this form of cricket before but after two weeks of training with Bexley coach Dom Taylor, both his skills and self-confidence quickly improved.
Sam demonstrated his commitment to Bexley when he continued to attend his team sessions to learn and support, even when he is injured. The whole team respects Sam and his infectious confidence settles down what can be an excitable team before any training session or competition.
All of this resulted in Sam being named captain for the 2016 national finals, where he also won the Most Improved Player award, and representing the Kent Learning and Physically Disabled team in the ECB Super 9s competition. Sam continues to be a role model for Super 1s participants, and is a shining light for the programme.