Thursday February 22nd saw 5 Special Education Needs schools from around the county come together to compete for the ‘Lord’s Taverners‘ Leicestershire County Table Cricket competition. All competing schools had previously had received 5 weeks of coaching from the community team through funding from the Lord’s Taverners with their hard work during the sessions culminating in the county final, which was held at Gateway College. We also welcomed ex-England and Leicester Tigers rugby player Neil Back to the competition who is an ambassador for the Lord’s Taverners charity. Neil supported the teams during their fixtures and even faced some bowling on the practice table!
Table Cricket provides a great experience of the game for people with physical, learning or visual disabilities who may not be able to play the traditional formats of the game. Whilst table cricket appears to be a very different game to what we may see on TV or at our local grounds, this format of the game (mainly played on a table tennis table) keeps close to the ‘mainstream’ game as players can hit 4s and 6s, bowl a ball the ‘swings’, slide fielders to catch the batter out and, with almost all other modes of dismissals also in play, umpires are also present too who utilise the same signals as the traditional game.
The 5 schools competing on the day were Maplewell Hall, Birkett House, West Gate School, Ash Field Academy and Birch Wood. All teams played in great spirits across the day and it was brilliant to see each school recording at least 1 win! However there was one clear winner of the day, Birkett House retained their status as County Table Cricket Champions with an undefeated display.
The final standings
Birkett House will now go through to the Regional Finals held in April where they will bid to compete at Lord’s in the National Finals. Joining them as runners-up will be West Gate School, who just pipped Maplewell Hall to the spot as they scored more runs across the whole competition, which was a very close margin of just 4 runs!
If you are interested in playing table cricket or other forms of Disability Cricket, or are interested in coaching within the landscape of inclusive sport, please contact Tom Leonard (Cricket Development Officer – Inclusion) on 07495 082 718 or firstname.lastname@example.org