Ability Cricket News
Visual Impairment Cricket
Indoor training sessions are underway at Wolverhampton University, City Sports Centre, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1LY.
Remaining sessions are all on Sundays, 2-4pm February 2nd, March 1st and 15th, and April 5th, come along and give it a go!
Sessions are running fortnightly on Thursday evenings 13th and 27th February, 5-6:30pm at King Edwards Leisure Centre, Lichfield, loads of fun, loads of cricket!
The Ability Cricket representative squad are training indoors at Clayton Sports Centre, Sunday afternoons, 2.30-4:30pm on 9th and 23rd February with an indoor fixture v Colywn Bay on Sunday 16th at Oswestry Leisure Centre.
Thanks to a successful funding application to the Lord’s Taverners, we are coming up to the competition stage of the delivery programme with 31 special schools involved at Westcroft Special School, Wolverhampton, Watermill Special School, Stoke and Stoke College, weeks commencing 3rd and 10th February.
Table Cricket can be adapted to suit varying levels of ability and impairment and has benefits for both body and mind.
People with physical disabilities can play cricket in a team just like their non-disabled peers, while those with challenging behaviour can learn to focus on tasks and work together in a group.
Playing Table Cricket helps to encourage improvement of:
- Physical development – coordination, motor controls, skills, and techniques
- Awareness, focus, perception, prediction, and observation abilities
- Personal development – confidence and self-esteem, responsibility, and adaptability
- Team work, cooperation, and communication skills
- Sporting friendships, peer respect, and creating links outside school
- Numeracy – learning to score and umpire
Table Cricket provides competitive opportunities for those who do not normally have access to them, helping to instill pride and team spirit, but most importantly of all, Table Cricket is great fun! Pictured below, action from the 2019 Regional Finals at Edgbaston.
A new Walking Cricket Group starts weekly at Beaconside Sports Centre, Stafford on Monday 24th February, 3:30-5:00pm.
Article by Emily Woodward, Staffordshire University:
“Can’t come next week Steve, got the bloody grandkids ain’t I” is the first thing I hear as I walk through the door of Alleyene’s Sports Centre in Stone, Staffordshire. In the bright, stark blue sports hall, fifteen or so men well into their sixties are handing over subs and discussing tactics. Bad knees, replaced hips and chesty coughs a plenty.
But once the stumps are put down and the bails are set, and these men start playing their version of walking cricket, they transform into fine and spritely sportsmen. I must admit, I was shocked, but equally, I was inspired.
Similar to its better-known counterpart – walking football, it is aimed at people over the age of fifty, and gives an opportunity for people to play a format of cricket that perhaps is more accessible than other current formats.
The wickets aren’t as far apart and the ball is not as hard, but a lot of walking cricket is similar to the professional game. Boundaries can still be scored by hitting the wall of the hall, and runs can be made, although quite obviously, at walking pace.
I spoke to Steve Lightfoot and Tony Whitehead, both members of the club, and asked them why they’re involved in this program. “The love of playing cricket in the past” says Tony, “and the love to be able to re do it again”.
Both keen cricketers in their youth, it is clear to see that both these men are passionate for the game and relish the opportunity to still be playing it now they are older.
“Some of those moments we enjoyed together playing for our clubs, you can do in here” added Steve. “One of the blokes put his bat in the loft and never thought he’d get it down again, and now he has.”
From watching the light-hearted training session, you could tell straight away the competitiveness was something still ingrained in all of them.
They seemed to morph into their former self, I wasn’t watching fifteen aging men with creaky joints out there, I was watching fifteen young men, with lights in their eyes and a spring in their step. This is what walking cricket does to them.
Tony, with emotion in this voice, explained that this club improves his mental health, “People look forward to Wednesdays, when you retire from your main job, it’s difficult to retain a purpose, but this gives us a purpose, to get ready and go out on a Wednesday, and get to playing some cricket.”
For more information please contact:
Disability Cricket Officer