Wirral school heading for National Table Cricket Finals at Lord’s

A Wirral school will head to the Home of Cricket for the very first time on Friday for the Lord’s Taverners National Table Cricket Finals Day.

Wirral Grammar School for Boys have recently formed a table cricket team and fought their way to a place at Finals Day at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Thousands of youngsters from across the country have been chasing down a place at Lord’s to win through to the Lord’s Taverners National Table Cricket Finals Day – with ten schools now confirmed for the competition at the home of cricket on 9 June.

Following months of county competitions, nearly 70 schools and over 500 young people with a disability competed in the charity’s table cricket regional finals across the country throughout April with the final 10 teams now eagerly awaiting the opportunity to become the 2023 national table cricket champions.

While many teams will be returning to Lord’s having competed on Finals Day before, for Wirral Grammar this will be a maiden visit having only discovered the sport this school year.

“I work with SEN pupils who really love sport but have not really got the opportunity to participate, so I went online and hunted around for different activities,” said special needs teaching assistant Jonathan Taylor.

“I stumbled across table cricket and noticed there was a regional competition going on. When I entered the team we didn’t know anything about how to play it, but we turned up and we ended up winning it which was a surprise to us all!

“It just snowballed from there, we qualified for another tournament by winning that and then another one and another one, and now we’re going to Lord’s.

“We’re so excited, because it’s the home of cricket and to have the privilege to even just walk around and visit it and go down would be good enough for us, but to actually have the chance to go down and do some table cricket and play in the national finals, we’re just over the moon.

“Everyone around the school is so excited for the boys and we’re just so proud of them.”

The ten regional finals, where young people with disabilities from across 34 counties and Scotland showcased their table cricket skills and teamwork, included competitions at historic venues such as Edgbaston, Old Trafford and Headingley.

Being able to play competitive cricket at such stadiums provides young people with a disability a potential once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent their teams at stadiums embedded in the history of the sport.

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.

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.

Taylor added, “They’ve loved and become really obsessed with it. We’ve got ourselves some table cricket sets now and we run a lunchtime club and things like that, they just really love it.

“They picked it up very quickly because it’s not complicated for the boys to understand and they just really fell in love with it straight away.

“The benefits are that they’ve had the experience of getting to participate in a sport and to be a member of a team, and feel that sort of pride, going back to school and telling friends and teachers.

“It’s given them the opportunity to feel like how everyone else feels, and the opportunity to represent themselves and the school at sport.”

he 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

Image: Wirral Grammar School – North West winners

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