Record turnout for Sussex DIScoverABILITY Day 2022
Sussex Cricket held its mass disability inclusion event – DIScoverABILITY Day - on Thursday 16th June.
The annual community event was the centerpiece of three events highlighting Disability Cricket at The 1st Central County Ground.
- 580 people from 25 organisations attend the South East’s largest mass disability sport event at Hove
- 90 volunteers from local businesses, schools and community groups help to deliver a memorable day in glorious sunshine
- Sussex players join in the fun
- Albion in the Community, Brighton Table Tennis Club and Sussex Wheelchair Basketball join in the fun
- The showcase commenced with the Sussex Sharks being welcomed by a team of flagbearers from the Super 1s disability section at Ansty CC for their home fixture against Gloucestershire.
DIScoverABILITY Day was followed by the first ever D40 County Disability league fixture to be played at a first-class venue when Sussex hosted Surrey at The 1st Central County Ground on Sunday 19th June, another historic, memorable moment to enable us to continue raising the profile of disability cricket in Sussex.
A crowd of over 300 people attended to witness history as Sussex beat Surrey by 118 runs which included a stunning knock of 162 from Sussex’s Alfie Pyle.
DIScoverABILITY Day has been blessed with good weather in previous years and this year proved no different. 580 participants from 25 different organisations including schools, colleges, day centres and community organisations arrived for an action-packed, fun-filled day at Hove.
The diverse range of activities were put together and run by an enthusiastic team of 13 Sussex Cricket coaches and 50 business and community volunteers.
The majority of volunteers came from a variety of Sussex businesses including 1st Central, Webtrends Optimize, Telefonica, Mishon Mackay, Oliver and Graimes and Yes Promo Products.
The event was also supported by 45 sports leaders from Brighton Girls School, Dorothy Stringer High School and Blatchington Mill High School.
The sports leaders escorted visiting groups around the different activity zones including old favourites like the Sussex Cricket Foundation 1st Central inflatables and Sid the Shark’s Big Hit Challenge.
Albion in the Community, Brighton Table Tennis Club and Sussex Bears Wheelchair Basketball ran adapted activities of their sports incorporating a cricket theme.
Visitors also had the option to just play matches covering three different formats of the game - Lord Taverner’s Table Cricket, Blind Cricket and Kwik Cricket. Sid the Shark was on hand again for numerous photo opportunities and proved as popular as ever.
Sussex Cricket Foundation Champion, Jamie Atkins brought a group of Sussex squad members including Tymal Mills, Steven Finn, Tom Alsop and Fynn Hudson-Prentice to get involved among participants.
The outfield was bathed in glorious sunshine and smiling faces for the entire day, which generated some great comments from visitors and volunteers.
Emma Hughes, PE teacher from St Oscar Romero Catholic School (Goring), said: “Days like these are really important for our students, especially after the last two years. They can actually get back out and socialize with others and get their confidence back up to develop their social skills.”
Ross Joannides, Strategic Relationship Manager at Active Sussex said of his volunteering experience: “Thanks so much for the opportunity to come and be part of the day. Well done to your whole team for putting on such a fantastic event!
“All I saw was happy faces and people enjoying themselves. Already looking forward to supporting next year's event.”
Reflecting on the day, Rob Andrew, Chief Executive at Sussex Cricket said: “It was fantastic to welcome so many organisations and participants we work with back to Hove. Raising the profile of Disability Cricket is a key component of our strategy and hopefully the different activities we have put on at Hove over the last week demonstrates our level of commitment.”
Gary Wallis-Tayler, Community Cricket Director at Sussex Cricket added: “DIScoverABILITY Day is always a special day and enables us to continue raising the profile of disability cricket in Sussex and celebrating the wonderful work the team do. By providing opportunities for people to access the game and our ground, we hope it will inspire more people to play in the future and create lifelong memories in the process.”