Ashes glory sparks cricket interest in Winchester

Press Release: 15/08/2013

Playing Cricket

England have dominated the cricket landscape this summer and people with disabilities from Winchester will be given the opportunity to take part in the sport.

The City Council has teamed up with the English Cricket Board (ECB) to develop disability cricket sessions from River Park Leisure Centre this summer.

After witnessing England’s retain the Ashes in Manchester, interest in cricket is set to increase significantly with the adult disability sports club playing host to ECB coaches for the first time.

The coaches will provide members of the Winchester and District Sports Association for the Disabled (WADSAD) multi-sport group with training sessions to introduce them to cricket and develop the basic skills and understanding of the sport and its new last-man-standing initiative.

The scheme is all part of the ECB’s disability development programme in its whole-sport plan securing in total £13.45 million investment for cricket participation from Sport England. Sessions will start on Friday 16 August at River Park Leisure Centre from 5pm to 6pm for people with disabilities.

Cllr Robert Humby, Deputy Leader at Winchester City Council with portfolio responsibilities for sport, said:

This is a fantastic partnership between the ECB and the City Council. We have been able to tap into investment from the national governing body and join them with our adult disability club. It is a great opportunity and something I would urge local people with disabilities to join.

The adult disability sports club has recently been created as part of Winchester City Council’s commitment to developing disability sport after the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Developed through the partnership group, Winchester District Disability Sports Forum, the club has joined forces with WADSAD and continues to go from strength to strength with new members arriving each week.

Chair of the Winchester District Disability Sports Forum, Richard Uren, said:

We have seen a big increase in the amount of provision for disability sport locally since the forum was created by Winchester City Council last September. As chair this has been fantastic to see and this new opportunity shows again how far Winchester is going to develop more activities. I hope we have a good turnout and the sessions continue to grow.

Sessions take place on Fridays at River Park Leisure Centre and cost £10 for a year’s membership to WADSAD. Membership includes access to the adult disability multi-sport club from 5pm to 6pm, archery club from 6pm to 7pm and swimming session, which benefits from a new partnership with Winchester City Penguins Swimming Club, from 7:10pm to 8:10pm.

The club delivers mostly non-contact activities and will also look at taking under-16s for some sessions. Anyone interested in joining the club can contact sport@winchester.gov.uk or call 01962 848532 for more information.