Table cricket lets everyone play

2017-10-17 06:00
Excited learners of Bel Porto School tried out their new table cricket game on the day.PHOTOS: AISHAH CASSIEM

Excited learners of Bel Porto School tried out their new table cricket game on the day.PHOTOS: AISHAH CASSIEM

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It was an exciting day for learners of Bel Porto School in Lansdowne when they received a table cricket table on Tuesday morning.

The table, which aims to increase sport development amongst children with physical and intellectual disabilities, was handed over by United Kingdom-based organisation Lord’s Taverners and sponsored by Greeff Properties.

Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Properties, presented the table to the school principal, teachers and learners of the development centre.

“I am sponsoring this initiative because I think this is a very good cause. It is all about giving back to people in Cape Town and for those people to really be appreciated. We need to work together in all sorts of ways to uplift people, and if this is one little way I can help, then I am happy,” he says.

The donation includes four weeks of coaching by Sporting Chance’s Bradlyn Stuur­man, who was hands-on at the handover to inspire the learners.

“This is one of many projects I support and I would like to appeal to other local businesses as well to sponsor a table and support this organisation going around to various schools. They are doing a really good job and are very compassionate. You can see the excitement on the kids’ faces when playing the sport,” he adds.

Children and staff were given the opportunity to test their new table in a 15-minute challenge during the handover programme with various roleplayers of the initiative on hand.

Ian Kilbride of Warwick Wealth, a sponsor and chairperson of Lord’s Taverners, and Robin Jackman, a former England seam bowler and well-known cricket commentator, were amongst those who excited the crowd on the day.

The UK-based organisation is known for raising funds and running programmes to give children with disabilities a sporting chance by enabling them to be a part of the game of cricket. According to reports, millions of pounds have been raised over the years, with the Lord’s Taverners South Africa officially launched in 2016. There are now over 18 schools playing the game across the country – six in the Western Cape.

School principal Ilona Herman says: “This is an amazing opportunity that has been given to our children. The game is very visual and hands-on, and our learners will benefit hugely from participating competitively in sport. The fact that this is also a spectator sport is a big positive for us, as the whole school can enjoy the game,” she says.

“Sport helps to make us all normal, otherwise what do we see them as, just disabled people? Lots of people are involved in sports despite disabilities and this kind of normalises us all.

“Our children don’t really get to partake in competitive sport and I think this will help them a lot. It is an exciting time for us all at Bel Porto and we are thankful to the roleplayers of this great initiative.”

V If you are interested in sponsoring a school or getting involved with the Lord’s Taverners table cricket initiative, email David Ralph at info@lordtaverners.org.za.

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