Leonard Cheshire v SWALLOW cricket match
04/08/2015 - Jade Hansford
On a warm, but not so sunny, July afternoon, residents from Leonard Cheshire and SWALLOW arrived at Midsomer Norton Cricket Club ready for their first cricket match. The match was facilitated by Alex Taylor, the community coach and schools development officer at the Somerset Cricket Board, who had already visited SWALLOW and led 4 taster sessions for the members. Unfortunately, due to the summer weather being typically British, the planned taster sessions at Leonard Cheshire were cancelled. However, they were still excited to take part in the match and were looking forward to having a fun afternoon of cricket.
The first innings saw SWALLOW in bat with Leonard Cheshire starting in the field. Considering the Leonard Cheshire team hadn't had any training sessions, their determination to be involved was inspiring. Each member had a go at bowling, while the SWALLOW team each had a go at batting. The SWALLOW team was made up of big hitters, and they were fantastic at hitting the ball into the space! After each participant had a go, the teams swapped roles. The Leonard Cheshire team had a go in bat, with the support team acting as runners - and what a lot of running they did! Having previously had some coaching sessions, the SWALLOW team put their bowling and fielding skills into practice. Each team then had 3 opportunities to bat and field - and every player put on a fantastic display!
The friendly afternoon was a huge success, and everyone involved enjoyed themselves! Kevin, a member at Leonard Cheshire said "it was great to play a game as a team. I really enjoyed batting and I had a great time", and a SWALLOW member stated "the cricket was fun! I liked playing against other people." Tracey Herridge, the activities coordinator at Leonard Cheshire said "it was great to get the chance to enable our residents to take part in cricket and to have the support and coaching available to show that even with a disability they could participate and succeed", while Sam Newbold, the senior outreach support worker at SWALLOW, noted that "it was great to play against Leonard Cheshire. It gave all the SWALLOW members a chance to show off the skills they had been learning and practicing over the last 4 weeks."
Huge thanks must go to all the staff at Leonard Cheshire and SWALLOW who organised and brought down their respective teams, and also to Alex Taylor whose fantastic knowledge and adaptable coaching helped each and every member to get involved and experience the wonderful game of cricket!
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