Thomas Wolsey School students play table cricket at Lord’s
- Credit: Archant
Pupils from Thomas Wolsey School had a day to remember last week as they travelled to London to take part in the Lord’s Taverners National Table Cricket Finals.
The Ipswich school’s side were one of nine to compete in the Nursery Pavilion, at Lord’s Cricket Ground, for the right to call themselves national champions.
The event is now in its 19th year and more than 300 schools took part in the 10 regional heats to qualify for the finals.
Thomas Wolsey finished sixth in the finals and head of PE at the school, Sharon Bloom, was thrilled to see her pupils show their competitive edge.
She said: “The event has been absolutely fantastic, we have all had such a great time. The children are super competitive and want to win which is amazing to see. It is a great sport because it is able to include everybody of all disabilities.”
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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.
The game not only gives opportunities for competitive play and social integrations, it also improves life-skills including self-confidence, independence and social skills.
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After initially not qualifying for the finals and then receive a lot call-up to the event, Ms Bloom believes table cricket has given a chance for pupils to shine.
She said: “I’m proud of what the team has done so far, the sport has given them so many opportunities to flourish as individuals.”
Pupil George Bellinger, 13, from Ipswich, said: “It is a fun game to play with all of your friends. It’s the best feeling when you win the game. It has been a great day and I hope we can keep improving and get better.”
Watching on as the school competed at Lord’s was Radio 1 DJ, cricket lover and member of Lord’s Taverners Greg James.
“I’ve never seen table cricket before on this sort of scale and it’s been brilliant,” he said.
– The Lord’s Taverners is the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity whose aim is to give disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance – go to www.lordstaverners.org for more.