Following the success of the roll out of our new Table Cricket Lending Scheme in Wexford, we have moved onto the South Dublin County Council area. We currently have sets in The Lighthouse, in St. Mary’s National School in Saggart, as well as Loretto Girls National School in Rathfarnham. We have completed taster sessions with students, whilst also teaching the staff how to set up the equipment and the basic rules.
We left the two schools with all the equipment needed as well as a booklet on all the instructions. They will continue to play table cricket throughout the rest of the school year. Both schools are keen to take part in the South Dublin Table Cricket Competition in the 2021/22 academic year.
Naomi Scott-Hayward, our South Leinster Development Manager, spoke about the joys of coaching kids with additional needs; “sometimes the kids run into the room and go to push the ball down the ramp straight away, or pick up the bat and want to get going. Other times you might get a child who says “I don’t want to play” and you realise that it is because the light is on in the room and he wants the light off! The more you get to know these children you just adapt to what suits, so they have the environment that they need to be able to play the game we all love: cricket. Just last week I started sessions with a new group and they all had a go at batting, bowling and fielding. Such smiles on their faces. As they left the room the teacher says to me about one of the students: “he never takes part in the first session of anything, I can’t believe he did all of the activities today”. It seems like a small win, but this was a massive one for the teacher. They will be doing Table Cricket every Monday and Tuesday with the class until the end of the school year.”
If your school is in the South Dublin County Council area and have an ASD unit or special needs group that would be interested in a lend of the Table Cricket sets please read on for more information:
What is table cricket?
Table cricket is an adapted version of cricket, played on a table tennis table and specially designed to give young people with a disability the chance to play and compete in the sport we all love.
How does it work?
There are different scoring zones around the table and, just like in regular cricket, fielders have to be carefully positioned to prevent runs or to get the batter out.
Teams (usually of six players) take it in turn to bowl or bat, with the bowler using a ramp to deliver the ball (either a regular ball that runs true or a weighted one that swings around). The batter scores by hitting the ball into the scoring zones, avoiding the fielders if they can! It can also be played as individuals against each other.
How does it help young people?
Alongside the enjoyment of playing the game and competing, table cricket has been shown to develop teamwork and social skills among players. It also helps coordination and cognitive skills.
The game is played by young people with both learning and physical disabilities. It enables young people to understand tactics, draw the best out of team players and to build a social life.
For the young volunteers involved in coaching and umpiring, table cricket helps to develop self-confidence, leadership skills and enhances their future employment prospects.
How Do You Take Part?
We will have some sets available for Summer Camps and from September onwards. So if you would like to register your groups interest in this scheme please email Naomi on firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also deliver training sessions for staff as well as taster sessions.
From a Cricket Leinster perspective, the support we receive from Lord's Taverners Ireland is fundamental to our continued delivery of table cricket programmes to children with special needs throughout the province. The contributions we receive from LTI provide many young people with the opportunity to have a sporting chance which might otherwise be unavailable to them - the funding directly supports the provision of experienced coaches and equipment which is hugely appreciated by the children, their families, teachers and the community at large.