As part of our Don’t Quit, Do It campaign, aimed at giving disabled people access to sport, we’re proud to support the Hampshire Cricket Board’s disability programme.
Based at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, Hampshire Cricket Board’s (HCB) trailblazing disability programme has been running since 2000, and reaches over 1300 participants each year.
The programme is open to everyone with a disability, from complete beginners entering at a grassroots level, to elite players who represent England internationally.
Our support of the programme will help provide coaching and tournaments to over 20 of Hampshire’s 36 special schools and offer six week long free introductions to cricket for disability groups in day centres, multi sport clubs and adult services groups.
There is also a winter training programme (hardball and softball) for county squads and an elite player development programme.
Four Hampshire players, Alex Hammond, Hugo Hammond, Dan Reynaldo & Josh Mead have already progressed via the programme to full international level with the England Physical Disability squad, with Will Flynn involved with the England Lions.
To mark our new partnership with HCB we’ve worked with them to co-ordinate with local schools in order to put on a Table Cricket Tournament at the Ageas Bowl, to offer disabled pupils a chance to try the sport.
Guy Darlaston, Regional Managing Partner for Irwin Mitchell in Southampton, said: “From the work we do, we see the positive impact that taking part in disability and inclusive sport can have for people who have suffered life changing injuries.
“We’re already actively supporting disability sports clubs in the region and are honoured to be able to work with the HCB disability programme. We hope that our support will enable more people the chance to get involved with inclusive cricket.”
Mike Pollard, Cricket Development Manager for HCB, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Irwin Mitchell has decided to sponsor our very successful programme, which is already recognised as one of the best in England & Wales. With Irwin Mitchell’s support we hope to be able to reach even more participants and expand opportunities further to people with disabilities."
We launched our Don’t Quit, Do It campaign to increase participation in disability sports by highlighting the many benefits of taking part, and by making it easier for people to access and get involved with their local clubs.
Although there are 9.4 million people living with disabilities in the UK, only 1 in 6 of them regularly takes part in sport of any kind. We hope that, through our campaign and sponsorship of disability programmes like HBC’s, we can make a real difference to physically disabled people across the country.
Sport can be an important part of the rehabilitation process after a life-changing injury, developing independence, social integration and general well-being.
If you, or someone you know, would like to get involved with Hampshire Disability Cricket, contact Mike Pollard for more information.