Lord's Taverners Disability Cricket Championships awards presented at Kia Oval
Surrey's Kia Oval hosted the Lord's Taverners Disability Cricket Championship Awards evening to celebrate winners from a pool of 640 disabled people across 18 London boroughs.
The Lord's Taverners Disability Cricket Championship (LTDCC) was launched last year to engage more than 1,000 disabled people, providing access to regular coaching and competition in local communities.
The programme is delivered in partnership with the County Cricket Boards of Essex, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey with support from Interactive - the initiative to help achieve disability equality in sport.
The LTDCC is run in partnership with the Berkeley Foundation, the charity arm of the Berkeley Group. Their funding has allowed the competition to expand to include 18 boroughs, up from five last year, and put on the annual awards ceremony.
Four learning and physical disability teams from Greenwich, Hackney, Westminster and Richmond & Hounslow took each other on for the second LTDCC title at the Ken Barrington Centre at the Kia Oval on 14th September, with Hackney emerging victorious.
They won all three of their group games before beating Westminster by 28 runs in the final.
Fred Bridges, an England Physical Disability international, presented players from all four teams with their medals and as well as Hackney picking up the team award, there were five individual awards handed out on the night to Richard Barnes (Player Of The Year), Dara Afolabi (Spirit Of Cricket Award), Arman Ali (Most Improved Player), Michael Wilson (Coach Of The Year), and Rhys Archer (Volunteer Of The Year).
Coach of the Year Michael Wilson said: "I can honestly say this is the proudest moment of my coaching career. Four of the six awards were presented to players I coach.
"I’m very proud to not only have worked with young people from all sorts of disadvantaged backgrounds and with a number of disabilities but also see players develop as individuals, some of which have gone on to play cricket at a county level."
Rob Perrins, Chair of Berkeley Foundation, said: "Berkeley Foundation is very proud to have created this partnership with the Lord’s Taverners.
"The programme has shown that it can help transform young people’s lives in a positive way. Seeing the happiness on the young people’s faces is fantastic and this is what the programme is all about."
Paul Robin, Chief Executive of the Lord’s Taverners stated: "It is wonderful to be able to recognise these young people who have demonstrated great talent in the LTDCC this year.
"We are delighted with the impact the LTDCC has had, engaging such a large amount of people, and with the success we have had, I hope the programme continues to grow and develop as quickly as it has so far."
© Cricket World 2015