Kingston top in new ini­tia­tive for dis­abled


KINGSTON are the pride of Lon­don after com­ing out on top of eight bor­oughs as more than 80 young­sters took part in the Lord’s Tav­ern­ers Dis­abil­ity Cricket Championships (LTDCC), beat­ing West­min­ster in the fi­nal by 33 runs.

The LTDCC is a year-round cricket pro­gramme for 14-25year-olds with a lim­it­ing dis­abil­ity, and has ex­panded into five new bor­oughs thanks to the sup­port of the Berke­ley Foun­da­tion, es­tab­lished and sup­ported by the Berke­ley Group.

As well as Kingston and West­min­ster, teams from Bex­ley, Hack­ney, Har­row, Ne­wham, Rich­mond and Wandsworth also took part at the MCC Academy at Lord’s.

With ad­di­tional fund­ing from the Wem­b­ley Na­tional Sta­dium Trust, Sport Eng­land and play­ers of the Peo­ple’s Post­code Lottery, LTDCC pro­vides ac­cess to coach­ing and com­pe­ti­tion in lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties across Lon­don.

The pro­gramme helps par­tic­i­pants to de­velop 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 sel­f­re­liant and sus­tain­able.

Win­ning Kingston coach Neil Mears said: “It’s an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity for our guys, play­ing at the home of cricket. Since get­ting in­volved with the LTDCC in the spring, their con­fi­dence has come on and what I no­ticed was the sports­man­ship and at­ti­tude to­wards other teams. Very spe­cial.”

Since its launch in 2013, the pro­gramme has pro­vided ac­ces­si­ble sport­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, and the chance to play com­pet­i­tive cricket, for over 2,000 young peo­ple with a phys­i­cal, learn­ing, or sen­sory dis­abil­ity, across 23 Lon­don bor­oughs.

Berke­ley Foun­da­tion’s char­i­ta­ble fund­ing has en­abled this ex­pan­sion of the com­pe­ti­tion and in part­ner­ship with the Lon­don cricket boards (Mid­dle­sex, Sur­rey, Es­sex and Kent), plans are in place to in­volve all 32 Lon­don bor­oughs within three years.

Stu­art Cowen, Berke­ley Foun­da­tion CEO, said: “It is fan­tas­tic to see th­ese teams com­pet­ing and new bor­oughs tak­ing part. The pro­gramme has reached out to 24 Lon­don bor­oughs with the aim to reach all of them in 2018.

“The Dis­abil­ity Cricket Cham­pi­onship is an out­stand­ing pro­gramme that re­ally does as­sist dis­abled young peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate in sport, and lead ful­fill­ing lives.”

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