25th Oct, 2020

Free online hubs will benefit disadvantaged young people

Liam Moakes 21st Apr, 2020

THOUSANDS of disadvantaged and disabled young people can boost activity in their homes thanks to the launch of a series of new online hubs to support their well-being.

During these unprecedented times and with the community and disability cricket programmes run by the Lord’s Taverners currently suspended due to COVID-19, the national charity has launched a series of home-based activities to increase physical activity and help with mental well-being during this time.

Although the tasks have a cricket focus, the activities can be done by anyone who needs them.

In 2019 alone, more than 10,000 young people living with a disability participated in programmes run by the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity and for many it is their only sporting activity.

The suspension of these life-changing sessions, which tackle issues such as isolation and inactivity, means many are unable to maintain the confidence, independence and social skills that being part of the programme helps to improve.

However, working closely with county cricket boards across the country, the charity has been working hard to engage with participants and their parents/carers to replace their regular weekly cricket activity with exercises, challenges and tasks they can do from the safety of their own home.

Each programme now has a bespoke hub on the Lord’s Taverners website with activity catered to the needs of participants.

So far, tasks include a way to set up a game of table cricket from home, the bat tap challenge and a special written task set by BBC Test Match Special commentator Dan Norcross. A new task or challenge will be set for participants on each programme every week.

There are also a number of other useful links included on each hub, especially surrounding mental health, with advice on how best to keep both your body and mind active while regular weekly routines have been disrupted and informing parents and participants where you can get extra support if needed.

Karen, mum of Bexley Super 1s participant Lewis Williams, said: “Young people like my son Lewis normally have limited access to a group that accept each other without judgement and he has been missing his once weekly catch-up, social and practice.

“For this reason I think the activity booklet is a wonderful idea – not only giving our youngsters the incentive to find a constructive activity but also a way of reconnecting them with their friends.”

Lord’s Taverners Head of Cricket Programmes Henry Hazlewood said: “It is so important to continue providing opportunities for participants to keep active and stimulated during this testing time with weekly sessions currently being suspended.

“Through our programmes, so many of our participants value being part of a community hub or a friendship group and, with the online hubs, we hope to not only keep participants engaged but also maintain that important connection.”

To view the three online hubs, follow these links: Super 1s – bit.ly/S1s_Hub; Table Cricket – bit.ly/TC_Hub; Wicketz – bit.ly/Wicketz_Hub.

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