Pupils from Wirral Grammar School enjoyed a day to remember by being crowned champions at the Lord’s Taverners National Table Cricket Finals.
The school were one of ten teams that had fought their way through regional competitions to win a place at Finals Days, held inside the Nursery Pavilion at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
And with Lord’s Taverners President and cricket legend David Gower and current England star Reece Topley among those watching on, Wirral prevailed in a nail-biting final that went down to the very final ball.
Team captain Aidan Smith, 16, said, “It’s amazing, going all the way down to the final ball and to win.
“It’s absolutely brilliant, I’m so happy – it’s been a great day.
“The final was so nervous, but as soon as we got the ball in our hand I just knew. I got that feeling we would win, so I’m really happy.
“I’ve loved meeting people from all different schools and all different backgrounds. I’ve had so much fun, and the best bit was definitely going and getting that trophy. It was amazing!”
Much of the Lord’s Taverners’ work in cricket for young people with disabilities is made possible thanks to funds raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and awarded by the Postcode Active Trust, in addition to support from the ECB and Sport England.
This past year has seen over 6,500 young people playing the game, benefitting from immeasurable personal development opportunities through table cricket. Participants learn leadership, communication and endless amounts of key skills whilst travelling to new places and creating friendships with other players.
This was in fact the first year that Wirral Grammar had competed in the competition, with special needs teaching assistant Jonathan Taylor thrilled to see the pupils thriving on the big stage.
He added, “We’re extremely proud, we can’t believe it. I was a nervous wreck in the final watching them all play, but me and the other members of staff are just so proud of the boys.
“Our day has been absolutely fantastic – we’ve really enjoyed the experience. We travelled on Thursday and have made a proper occasion of it.
“It’s a lovely venue – it’s incredibly historic – and everybody has had an incredible time. It’s such a big deal for us to be here at the Home of Cricket.”
The Lord’s Taverners impacts the lives of young people facing the challenges of inequality. The charity works across the UK and beyond to provide inclusive and impactful cricket programmes, empowering young people with disabilities and from disadvantaged communities – visit www.lordstaverners.org