Here is a story about the impact that one Street Cricket programme run by Middlesex Cricket’s Participation Team has had on the life of a young 13-year-old boy, who is about to finish Year 8 at school.
Things can be difficult as the oldest of three children, with a lot of responsibility thrown at you from a young age. Add being on the autistic spectrum, as well as having a major operation during primary school, and it sounds like a huge challenge.
When he was younger, he was very active and full of energy. However, he had to have surgery on his legs which caused him anxiety and affected his life at Primary School. He struggled with having the confidence to be able to make friends, which resulted in him having a quiet social life away from his home comforts.
Once secondary school came along, he found enjoyment when he started to attend the Street Cricket session that is run at his school after school hours, led by coaches in the Middlesex Participation Team. He was able to release the pressures that he had put on himself and enjoy the hour after school where he could interact with others who shared the same interests as him.
His confidence grew, and he managed to make a group of friends who support him. His passion for cricket started to develop at a rapid rate, and he started to watch more cricket at home as well as practicing his skills in his free time. Every week, the night before his cricket sessions, he becomes very excited and gets his kit ready for the next day before bed, whilst talking about the day ahead.
The biggest change was that his parents have noticed is that he is enjoying his schoolwork so much more, with an improvement in his general school life, and they believe that joining the Street Cricket session will have played a huge part in that change. In their view, sport is very important for people who suffer from anxiety as it helps massively towards their wellbeing. Cricket, in this particular case, has helped immensely.
As a result, he would now like to focus his career towards working in sports in some capacity – he regularly watches interviews with cricketers, when he is not participating in various sporting exercises with his dad.
Before starting cricket, he struggled with his weight, found it tough to make friends, and would often complain about the pain in his leg. Now, this young man has a big dream – to play for the England national team and win a trophy for his country – with his leg pain pushed right to the back of his mind.
Middlesex Cricket would like to thank this young man, and his family, for allowing us to shine a spotlight on his story, showing how cricket has helped transform his life. We are extremely proud to have played a part in helping that transformation to take place.The Club runs Street Cricket programmes in various locations across the county and would love to hear from anyone else who would like to get involved. Contact [email protected] for more information.