Table cricket final comes to Hove

More than 30 players were involved in last weeks county final. Photo: Sussex Cricket

Northease Manor school in Lewes was crowned East Sussex table cricket county champions last week at The 1st CentralCounty Ground, Hove, home of Sussex Cricket.

The victorious team were made up of Isabelle (11), Ashley (11), Harvey (12), Eran (11), Lily (11) and Harry (10).

Northease Manor were one of six schools and colleges competing at the county final on Tuesday 20th February, part of the Lord’s Taverners national table cricket competition.

The other teams involved were Hillside School, Portslade, Hazel Court School, Eastbourne, Hazel Court FE Faculty, Eastbourne and Downs View Life Skills College, Brighton.

Participants ranged in age from 10 to 21-years-old.

Northease Manor will now join The Angmering School – winner of the West Sussex county final last month – in the regional final that takes place at the K2 in Crawley on Thursday 10th May.

The winner of that event will earn the right to play in the national final at Lord’s on Thursday 21st June.

Speaking at Tuesday’s county final, Sussex Cricket’s Chief Executive, Rob Andrew, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome over 30 young people to the ground and see them having so much fun playing in this great cricket competition.

“The fact we have ten girls and 23 boys from secondary schools and FE colleges playing together really highlights the truly inclusive nature of this format of the game.”

Helen Mackay, Assistant Headteacher at Hazel Court Secondary School commented: “Our students really enjoyed the day and gained a lot from it. It was extremely well organised and a great venue!”

Neil Watson, Teacher at Hillside School added: “Today was excellent day and one of the best events we have done. The boys loved it and it was very easy to get involved in. Many thanks and hope to head down for a game soon.”

Table cricket gives people with more severe physical disabilities and learning difficulties the opportunity to play the game and compete in a structured tournament.

The sport is growing rapidly with 7,168 participants nationally in 2016/17, up from 552 in 2014/15.

Sussex Cricket delivered 26 separate table cricket projects in 2016/17 reaching 384 people. This number is on target to reach 500 in 2017/18.

Every year, the six-a-side national competition is run by the Lord’s Taverners, the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity.

Alongside this year’s tournament, the Lord’s Taverners has introduced a Table Cricket Leaders Award. This provides selected participants the opportunity to develop and be recognised for their leadership skills and confidence by helping to deliver events in the competition.

The Table Cricket Leaders present at last Tuesday’s county final were 24-year-old Lewis Pope, his Sussex county disability squad teammate, 15-year-old Woodlands Meed College student, Callum Wolff, 19-year-old Harry Jackson and 20-year-old Ben Gilburt, both from Downs View Life Skills College.

If you’re school or college would like to get involved with Sussex Cricket’s table cricket programme, please e-mailaroop.tanna@sussexcricket.co.uk.

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