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by John Pennington Monday 23 May 2016
Seven teams battled it out on Friday at Lord's before the team from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets won the 2016 Lord's Taverners Disability Cricket Championships.
The winners were joined by teams from across the capital representing the boroughs of Lambeth, Bexley, Newham, Westminster, Hackney and Kingston for Finals Day of the competition held at the MCC Cricket Academy.
It went down to the wire when Tower Hamlets held their nerve to defeat Kingston in the final over.
Now in its fourth year, the event is the culmination of a tournament that is open to disabled young people between the ages of 14 and 25 in 18 London boroughs.
Supported by the Berkeley Foundation, the charitable Foundation of established and supported by the Berkeley Group, the Lord's Taverners Disability Cricket Championship has given more than 2,000 young people with a physical, learning or sensory disability, the opportunity to play competitive cricket since 2013.
Funding from the Berkeley Group has enabled the competiton to put an expansion programme in place with five more boroughs set to be involved and eventually all 32 London boroughs by 2019.
The year-round cricket programme allows those involved to develop physical fitness as well as boost their confidence, motivation, self-esteem and communication skills. In addition, local people are trained to become qualified coaches, meaning the training programme becomes self-reliant and sustainable.
Lord's Taverners President Sir Michael Parkinson attended the day and offered his congratulations to the winners and praised the work of the programme.
"Congratulations to Tower Hamlets on their victory at the LTDCC. It was a fantastic day at Lord’s that really showcased the programme and how it is making an impact across the whole of London," Parkinson said.
"Since its launch three years ago, the LTDCC programme has helped thousands of young people improve not only their cricket skills, but also their all-round development and social skills.
"Building on that success, the programme has recently expanded and will continue to grow; enabling the LTDCC to make a difference to thousands more disabled young people across the capital."
Stuart Cowen, Chief Executive of the Berkeley Foundation added: "It is fantastic to see these teams competing, including one new Borough for 2016 reaching the final, and congratulations to Tower Hamlets in winning.
"The Disability Cricket Championship is an outstanding programme that really does assist disabled young people to participate in sport, and lead fulfilling lives.
"Sport is a wonderful way for these youngsters to compete and work as part of a team – and you can see how much they enjoyed the day.
"The Berkeley Foundation is proud to partner Lord’s Taveners in the programme and its expansion across London."
© Cricket World 2016