Preparing for a busy international programme
Posted in Disability Cricket
I’ve been fortunate over the last two weekends to spend time with two of our international disability squads who are preparing for a busy summer ahead.
Firstly I made the long trip from my home in North Wales down to Bath (via Loughborough) to meet up with the England Deaf Squad, who are training hard in preparation for the Deaf Ashes taking place this summer between July 8-25.
The squad are well aware of the fact that they are at the elite end of deaf cricket and they have been careful to arrange their training weekends in areas of the country where there are large deaf communities. The idea of this of course is to introduce new members of the deaf community into the sport in the hope that we will encourage more youngsters to play the game.
The Bath weekend was particularly successful in this respect and I hope that this year's deaf ashes will provide a legacy in terms of development activity and new particpants in deaf cricket.
Last weekend I joined up with old friends in the England Learning Disability Squad, who met at Manchester Metropolitan University at Alsager in Staffordshire for a fitness testing session. I was fortunate to be team manager of this squad for two years and they are a remarkable group of cricketers.
To highlight the point that being an international cricketer isn’t just about bat and ball work the squad underwent fitness assessments and were given talks on diet and nutrition and lifestyle. It's probably fair to say that some of the guys were more comfortable with this sort of session than others but overall everyone agreed that the session was of benefit.
The sessions were led by physiotherapist Kate Peckham who has made a huge contribution to both our LD and Deaf squads over the last two years. In addition to Kate we have recently been able to draw on the expertise being gained by Ian Leather.
Ian is a level 2 coach from Cheshire who is also studying for a Masters degree in Sports Science and his area of interest is coaching techniques to be used when working with cricketers with Learning Disabilities. Having access to his level of expertise is of massive benefit to England coach Bobby Denning and we will hopefully be able to use Ian’s findings for the benefit of all coaches working with cricketers with mild learning difficulties in the future.
Next weekend I’m back on the road again to meet up with our Blind Squad at Loughborough as they prepare for the visit of the West Indies and the Blind Ashes in Australia later in the year. In the meantime its back to the more mundane task of ensuring budgets are maintained as forecast and reviewing disability development plans.
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..till next time