Pupils at Birmingham’s Wilson Stuart School will be representing the West Midlands again and heading back to Lord’s on June 21 to defend their title at the Lord’s Taverners Table Cricket Finals.
The team from the Birmingham-based school are travelling to the home of cricket to battle it out against eleven other schools as they look to retain their crown of the national competition organised by the Lord’s Taverners, the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity.
And thanks to the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Ford, who support the competition, the team from the school will be following in the footsteps of England captain Joe Root and playing at Lord’s.
Neil Dawson, PE teacher at Wilson Stuart School, said: “Everyone at Wilson Stuart is very excited to be able to play at Lord’s and to represent our school and the West Midlands at the Table Cricket Finals day.
“It’s fantastic to see how the pupils have developed both as individuals and a group since they started playing table cricket – giving them the opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills, tactics, be part of a team and also have fun. It’s going to be a great day at Lord’s but also a tough competition and we are really looking forward to defending our title!”
The Lord’s Taverners table cricket competition in now in its 20th year and, working with 30 county cricket boards across the UK, more than 300 schools took part in the 10 regional heats to qualify for the finals.
Played on a table tennis table with side panels and sliding fielders, a ball launcher, weighted plastic ball and wooden bat, table cricket enables young people with severe physical and learning disabilities to enjoy cricket and represent their school on a competitive basis.
The game not only gives opportunities for competitive play and social integrations, it also improves life-skills including self-confidence, independence and social skills. An enhanced role for the captain also allows for the development of leadership skills.
The Lord’s Taverners aim to enhance the lives of disadvantaged and disabled young people through sport and recreation. Its programmes create a wide range of opportunities to engage in sport and recreational activities in their communities.