Disabilities Cricket

Some two years ago, we were contacted by the Caboolture Indoor Cricket for the Disabled who hoped that we might be able to establish a branch in the Northern NSW region. After Pat Rossiter had spoken as our guest at a General Meeting, and communicated with us for some time afterwards, we formed a sub-committee to investigate the “art of the possible”.

John McCaffery agreed to chair the sub-committee, and the others who now make up the organising group are Warren Noble, Heather Noble, June Gilchrist, Neil Boyd and Chris Gray.

At almost the same time we were alerted to the table-top cricket activities in the ACT branch, and renewed our understandings of modified-rules cricket programs operated by CricketNSW and other bodies. Indoor cricket, table-top cricket or modified rules – what was it to be?

John and his sub-committee investigated each in turn. They visited the Ballina Indoor Cricket Centre, to ascertain the viability of a branch of the national Indoor Cricket for the Disabled there. They then received some videoed material from the ACT Branch about table-top cricket. Finally, Neil Boyd provided some information about modified rules cricket for the disabled.

The outcome of all their careful investigation was to start with table-top cricket. A commercially produced set of equipment was purchased, with some concern at the quality of the mainly plastic walls, launching ramp and balls.

Trinity trial Paint 103

John contacted a friend, and had a sample set of some of the walls, numbers and fielder signs made from aluminium, and the launching ramp made by the Alstonville Men’s Shed from wood. This original (plastic) set was trialled at Trinity College, found hugely popular with the participants, but needing constant refitting to the table because of inferior construction. John’s new set was subsequently trialled at Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre and found much superior in every aspect, and even more popular with the new participants.

GSAC 1 Paint

At Wilson Park SSP 2012 - Copy

We have now placed a set of the newer table-top cricket equipment at Wilson Park School, and a set (thanks to the financial support of Lismore City Council) at the Goonellabah Sport and Aquatic Centre, and both sets are in constant use. We will soon have a set in Bialla School in Ballina, but we are waiting on the dimensions of their table.

We have also trilled the modified equipment at Wilson Park School, and it has proved really popular with these kids. Our David Szumowski, who is also a CricketNSW regional representative, was able to provide two free kits, and we are grateful to CricketNSW for those.

If you would like to know more about our provision for disabled people, or to become involved yourself, please contact chairman@lordstaverners-northernnsw.com.au