London youngsters battle it out at Lord’s in disability cricket championships

Teams from across the Capital battled it out at the home of cricket on Friday in the Lord’s Taverners Disability Cricket Championships with the team from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets being crowned winners.

Eight teams won through to finals day of the London-wide competition with the boroughs of Lambeth, Bexley, Newham, Westminster, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Kingston all in action at the Lord’s MCC Cricket Academy.

A tense and thrilling final saw Tower Hamlets beat Kingston in the last over of the game to win the competition.

The Lord’s Taverners Disability Cricket Championships (LTDCC) provides cricket participation for disabled young people aged 14-25 thanks to the support of the Berkeley Foundation, the charitable Foundation established and supported by the Berkeley Group.

Since its launch in 2013, the programme has provided accessible sporting opportunities, and the chance to play competitive cricket for nearly 2,000 young people with a physical, learning, or sensory disability, across 18 London boroughs.

Funding from the Berkeley Foundation has enabled the recent expansion of the competition into a further five London boroughs and in partnership with the London cricket boards, plans are in place for all 32 London boroughs to be offering the programme within the next three years.

The year-round cricket programme allows participants to develop their physical fitness as well as confidence, motivation, self-esteem and communication skills, while local people are trained to become qualified coaches to make the programme self-reliant and sustainable.

Speaking at the finals of the competition, Lord’s Taverners President Sir Michael Parkinson said: “Congratulations to Tower Hamlets on their victory at the LTDCC. It was a fantastic day at Lord’s that really showcased the programme and how it is making an impact across the whole of London. Since its launch three years ago, the LTDCC programme has helped thousands of young people improve not only their cricket skills, but also their all-round development and social skills. Building on that success, the programme has recently expanded and will continue to grow; enabling the LTDCC to make a difference to thousands more disabled young people across the capital.”

Stuart Cowen, Chief Executive of the Berkeley Foundation said: “It is fantastic to see these teams competing, including one new Borough for 2016 reaching the final, and congratulations to Tower Hamlets in winning.  The Disability Cricket Championship is an outstanding programme that really does assist disabled young people to participate in sport, and lead fulfilling lives.  Sport is a wonderful way for these youngsters to compete and work as part of a team – and you can see how much they enjoyed the day.  The Berkeley Foundation is proud to partner Lord’s Taveners in the programme and its expansion across London.”

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