Aston 101 Disabled Cricket Team
Aston Cricket Club, c/o Old Mill Farmhouse, Chebsey, Nr. Stafford, ST21 6JU
Tel: 01785 760844 / 01785 760844
“Full of enthusiasm and excitement, the development of players has been remarkable. They’ve embraced everything we challenge them with, for us as coaches it’s a breath of fresh air. We’ve seen not only their cricketing knowledge improve but also other social skills that are attached to sport eg. teamwork, sharing, healthy eating etc.”
Margaret Hickman, Coach, Aston 101 cricket Team
An Olympic and Paralympic legacy project in Stone has been honoured as one of the best in Staffordshire after inspiring dozens of young people with disabilities to get into sport and one participant has been named REGIONAL ‘Participant of the Year’.
Margaret Hickman, Coach, Aston 101 cricket Team commented, “Annemarie is an immense asset to the team not just as a player but also as future volunteer for the project. She is an inspiration to all around her and never lets her disabilities get in the way of enjoying life to the full. For me to sum Annemarie up, she is not a Participant of the Year but Participant of the Century! She just everything you would wish for as a coach.”
The Sportivate cricket coaching in 2012 via Aston Cricket Club has been a huge success in Staffordshire, culminating in the first disabled cricket team and one of only two disabled cricket ‘focus’ clubs within the county.
The project gave the opportunity not just to share the game of cricket in a fun environment but also to address fitness and health issues, social interaction and at the same time building individual and group self-confidence and esteem.
Sportivate provided the resources to start training the disabled players which lead to the creation of Aston 101 Disabled Cricket Team. This has been truly inspirational with at times up to 25 young adults descending on the ground or in the hall for their weekly coaching.
The main emphasis by the coaching staff is having fun in a supported environment. All staff have experience of working with individuals with disabilities and have attended training workshops eg. Working with Disabled Performers etc.
The development of players has been remarkable, to a stage where they now co-ordinate and deliver their own warm-ups, umpire etc. thus greatly increasing their self-belief and esteem.
All the young adults attend weekly however we have been aware that several of the players want to take the sport to another level. In light of this we have made provision for them to attend St. Georges Disabled Cricket Team in Shropshire where the player pathway has a link directly through to the England Disabled Cricket Squad.
As staff we make contact with day centres etc. and provide taster sessions in their establishments as and when required. The coaches offer the highest level of coaching and deliver sessions that support and motivate the participants.
This Sportivate project has had a major positive impact on the lives of the disabled young adults not just at the training and matches but also from a social aspect.
At our Annual Club Presentation where we invite all our members to celebrate the successes of the year, where three quarters of the disabled players attended. This was a tremendous achievement for them all as for almost all of the players this was the first time they have been part of an able bodied presentation of any sort, previously all their involvement has been with special needs groups of one kind or another.
The social skills of when to clap, when to be quite, when to cheer, who and how to communicate with people they had never meet before, and of course how we celebrate. Each and every one of them handled the situation superbly. A huge milestone had been achieved by them all.
We have forged links with the Northern Galloway’s Visually Impaired Cricket Team and we host our annual match for ‘The Ashes’, playing with their equipment and by their rules. Several of their players have or currently play in the England Visually Impaired Cricket Team. By providing matches such as this alongside St. Georges we are able to highlight the opportunities that disabled players can aspire to.