Over the last few years literally tens of thousands of local school children from within and around the county have benefitted from Middlesex County Cricket Club’s ‘Schools’ Day’ initiatives, visiting Lord’s Cricket Ground courtesy of the club and allowing them to see for themselves just what the historic Home of Cricket and this great game have to offer.
How many of these youngsters will take up cricket or even return to Lord’s again with a deep felt love and enthusiasm for the game is hard to determine, however it is hoped that affording youngsters the opportunity to experience the club and the game at an early age will engender an interest that remains long into adulthood and sees them playing a part in a successful future for both the club and the game within Middlesex in years to come.
This year, the Middlesex Cricket Board (MCB) opened up the club’s Schools’ Day initiative specifically to include in its activities young people and adults with Special Educational Needs (SEN) or a disability that reside within the London Boroughs of Middlesex, for the club’s inaugural ‘Inclusion Day’ at Lord’s.
In all eighteen separate schools came to Lord’s and took part, including two deaf schools and four schools who work closely with the MCB as part of their ongoing Chance 2 Shine SEN programme.
Almost 300 children, with a range of learning physical difficulties and sensorial needs were invited to Lord’s with over 70 teachers and teaching assistants to watch a day of the Middlesex v Yorkshire LV= County Championship Division One fixture and to take part in a range of adaptive cricketing activities.
The kids got to benefit from an interactive cricket session run by the MCB coaches on the Nursery Ground, where they could take part in skills games including Crazy catch, Zonal batting drills and Hitting the stumps drills, plus they got to enjoy Table Cricket inside the MCC Cricket Academy, thanks to TopSpin Sports, who generously donated a table tennis table for the day.
Katie Berry, the Middlesex Cricket Board Director of Development, had this to say about Inclusion Day’s debut at Lord’s…..
“We would like to thank everyone at Lord’s Cricket Ground for their support in helping us to organise and run our very first Middlesex Inclusion Day and to the schools and children who all played their part in making the day so terrific.
We’ve had huge amounts of positive feedback from many of the teachers who brought their students along for the day, and we are thrilled that the day proved such a hit with all the children who took part.
After such a successful first event, we look forward to making Inclusion Day an annual event for years to come.”
The Middlesex Cricket Board runs a number of County sides for cricketers with disabilities including both adult and junior physical & learning disability teams, a junior visually impaired and junior deaf squad. Each school was given information on how their students can get involved, in the hope that their experience at Inclusion Day will ignite an interest in playing the game regularly in the future.
Jonny Harrison, SENCO from Nower Hill School, who brought some children along to the Middlesex CCC Inclusion Day, offered.....
“I think the smiles on my student’ faces will tell you that we had a really fun time and we think you should definitely invite us again next year!
Our students really loved the activities with your support coaching team and their only disappointment was that they wanted the activities to last longer; they were having a really good time.
It was a lovely day – congratulations.”
For further information on the Middlesex Cricket Board and disability cricket within the county, please contact MCB’s Inclusion & Diversity Cricket Development Officer, Khushali Patel on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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