Youngsters with disabilities from across the country are set to take part in the finals of the Macquarie National Table Cricket Competition on Friday 17 June at Lord’s Cricket Ground, all vying for the chance to be crowned 2011 champions.
Having won their respective regional heats earlier this year, 12 teams will battle it out for the national title: Beckfoot School (Bingley), Brookfield House School (Woodford Green), Lonsdale School (Stevenage), Marjorie McClure School (Chislehurst), Oakfield School (Wigan), Percy Hedley Sports Academy (Newcastle), Portland College (Mansfield), South Gloucestershire ‘A’, South London Special League, Thomas Wolsey School (Ipswich), Victoria Sports College (Poole) and Wolverhampton Outreach Sports Club.
Table Cricket, which is played on a table tennis surface with specially designed bats and balls, enables young people with disabilities and special needs the chance to enjoy cricket and represent their school on a competitive basis.
Former Eastenders and Strictly Come Dancing star, Ricky Groves, will join Macquarie staff volunteers to help officiate proceedings at the finals, while former England cricket captain, Mike Gatting, will be on hand to offer batting tips to the young players throughout the day.
Earlier this year, youth cricket and disability sport charity, The Lord’s Taverners, formed a three-year partnership with global financial services institution, Macquarie Group. At the heart of the partnership is the Macquarie Group Foundation’s support for the charity’s iconic national table cricket competition. Now in its 13th year, the competition sees over 500 youngsters from across the UK compete in a series of regional heats for the chance to take part in the prestigious national finals at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Julie White, Global Head, Macquarie Group Foundation, said: "We are very pleased to support this competition with premier cricket organisation The Lord's Taverners as it exemplifies Macquarie's approach of supporting community initiatives through both staff volunteering and financial assistance. The competition is an innovative way of enabling young people with disabilities to engage in an enjoyable, active contest as well as an opportunity for Macquarie staff to serve alongside them."
Matthew Patten, Chief Executive, The Lord’s Taverners said, "The Lord’s Taverners believes that all young people should have access to sport and recreation, particularly those with disabilities and special needs. Macquarie’s support for this competition has given even more young people the chance to play cricket against their peers at iconic venues like Lord’s. We wish each team the very best of luck in the national finals."