Sporting chance for learners

2018-05-22 06:00
Teachers, learners and sponsors gathered at the handover of the table cricket set at Eros School in Athlone.

Teachers, learners and sponsors gathered at the handover of the table cricket set at Eros School in Athlone.

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It was all fun and games at Eros School for cerebral palsy learners in Bridgetown, Athlone, as teachers and learners tried out their new table cricket set received from the Lord’s Taverners South Africa on Thursday.

The new activity is set to give learners at the school a sporting chance of learning the game of cricket via a table cricket set – a specially developed game of cricket using an adapted table tennis table – which enables children with physical and mental disabilities to be part of a team sport.

Among those celebrating the handover at the school on the day were Jeremy Fredericks, an ambassador for Lord’s Taverners, David Ralph, Lord’s Taverners CEO, and Wendy de Sousa from Warwick, the donor of the table cricket set.

The donation by Warwick includes four weeks of coaching for the school by Sporting Chance. Bradlyn Stuurman from Sporting Chance was present to explain the rules of the game to the excited learners.

Lord’s Taverners started in the UK with the sole purpose of raising money to give children with disabilities a sporting chance. Millions of pounds have been raised over the years, and Lord’s Taverners South Africa was launched in 2016.

“The word that came to mind as I watched these children play is ‘revolutionary’. So many of our learners feel marginalised, and today I saw a reluctant young girl take the bat, and after hitting a six, she proclaimed that she wanted to call her mommy. She was so overjoyed, and I am very pleased that we can give our learners this opportunity,” said Samuel Julius, the school principal at Eros.

“I would like to congratulate those that have brought this initiative to our schools in South Africa and we hope to have many schools playing so that we can have inter-schools competitions.”

The organisation previously sponsored a table cricket set for Bel Porto School for children with physical and intellectual impairments in Lansdowne last October (“Table cricket lets everyone play”, People’s Post, 10 October 2017).

There are currently 20 schools across the country playing the game through Lord’s Taverners, with seven in the Western Cape.

There are also plans to run interschools matches and interprovincial competitions across the country soon.

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