Children from special schools across the region came to Edgbaston as Warwickshire hosted the county table cricket finals. Almost 50 pupils from five schools competed in a series of round robin matches at the Club’s indoor centre in the event which is specially designed to make cricket accessible to children with disabilities.
Victoria Specialist Art School, Northfield, were crowned champions after winning all four of their matches and progress to a regional final in April, again staged at Edgbaston, for a chance to play in the national finals at Lords. Bears captain Will Rhodes plus first team players Alex Davies, Ethan Brookes, Liam Norwell and Craig Miles all took time out from training to join the action and meet the players.
Warwickshire Cricket Board Disability Development Officer, Rob Eynon, said: “It was a fantastic day, lots of fun with a competitive edge. Table cricket is a strategic game, lots of thought goes into positioning fielders on the table and where to bowl.
“Table Cricket is so important as it gives young disabled people the opportunity to play and enjoy cricket in a way they wouldn’t have been able to before. It brings a lot of traditional cricket skills such as hand-eye coordination, understanding fielding positions but also it teaches the players about social skills which is a vital part of any team.”
Fairfax School in Sutton Coldfield finished runner-up and also progress to the regional final while students – aged from six- to 18-years-old – from Sherbourne Fields in Coventry, Wilson Stuart school, Birmingham, and Red Boots primary in Edgbaston also took part. Youth cricket and disability sport charity Lord’s Taverners has worked to expand the reach of Table Cricket and more than 8,000 children from across the country take part in the National Table Cricket Competition.
Lord’s Taverners’ Disability Cricket Programme Manager Mark Bond, said: “For many young people living with a disability, the chance to take part in competitive sport is very limited, and events like this show just how valuable these opportunities can be. We’re incredibly proud of the work we’re doing in partnership with Warwickshire Cricket Board, and the positive impact on participants was clear to see.”