Gloucs disability coaching begins
Gloucestershire players Jack Taylor and David Payne helped to launch the county’s 2011-12 disability cricket coaching programme at Brimsham Green School in Yate, South Gloucestershire, yesterday.
Children from the school enjoyed free coaching and had the opportunity to meet Taylor and Payne, who were on hand to offer encouragement and advice, as well as signing autographs. Gloucestershire disability cricket coach Chris Munden led the session.
Those children were the first of hundreds to benefit from the free coaching over the winter, offered by Gloucestershire and the Cribbs Causeway branch of John Lewis in Bristol to all 15 disability schools in South Gloucestershire and Bristol.
Now the school infrastructure is in place, Gloucestershire Cricket Board is concentrating on ensuring that there are cricket clubs with disability teams for the youngsters to join while they are still in school and to continue their cricketing development post-school.
Gloucestershire chief executive Tom Richardson said: "We are absolutely delighted to start the 2011-12 disability cricket programme at Brimsham Green School and to be able to continue offering these coaching sessions to special schools in South Gloucestershire and Bristol.
“The children taking part really enjoyed the session and I am sure they are looking forward to next week’s session.
“We plan to run many more of these coaching sessions so that even more young people will have the opportunity to improve their cricketing skills in a safe and enjoyable environment.
“We should like to thank John Lewis for their generous support which has helped make this programme possible.”
Liz Mihell, managing director of John Lewis Cribbs Causeway who also sponsor Gloucestershire director of cricket John Bracewell, added: "The disability cricket coaching program enables children of all abilities to enjoy and experience the game in a way they previously wouldn't have been able to.
“John Lewis Cribbs Causeway is delighted to support Gloucestershire County Cricket Club to successfully deliver the program to as many children as possible.”
Schools from across Gloucestershire will also take part in local table cricket heats at the start of 2012. The winner from each heat will go through to the regional final at the County Ground in March, with the winner representing Gloucestershire at a Lord’s final.
Table cricket, which is played on a table tennis surface with specially designed bats and balls, enables young people with disabilities and special needs the chance to enjoy cricket and represent their school on a competitive basis.