Yorkshire cricket supports learning disability programme

The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation has continued its ‘Diverse Communities’ programme by announcing its support for a local learning disability programme.

HALO has been running at the Hamara community centre in Beeston, south Leeds, since 2010 and runs cricket training every Monday for anyone over the age of 18 with a registered learning difficulty.

Now the YCF, in conjunction with Yorkshire County Cricket Club and the Yorkshire Cricket Board, will provide equipment for the HALO group to use and the Board has also funded one of the participants to become a Level One qualified coach. Chris, from Beeston, has been attending the HALO sessions for the last four years.

Charlie Roebuck, YCF Disability Community Cricket Officer, explained: “Cricket is a passion of his and through the work YCF have done, we identified him as a potential coach. 

“Disability cricket needs coaches who sympathise with the disabilities on show. The understanding is something in which a non-disabled person will never know. Chris shows outstanding knowledge and understanding of the game of cricket as well as the participants’ needs. Enhancing his game-based learning and key cricket skills can only push him forward into further employable opportunities. Chris would have no problem working in the cricketing coaching world and I would be happy to have him in my team.”

Chris said: “I love cricket and I am very grateful to Yorkshire Cricket for selecting me for this course. I am really looking forward to completing my course and teaching others.”

Through its ‘Diverse Communities’ programme, the YCF has focused on building relationships with existing groups in Leeds, establishing the needs of different communities and creating opportunities based on them.

Yorkshire fast bowler James Wainman visited the HALO team to take part in their cricket session. He said: “It’s paramount that Yorkshire Cricket supports disability cricket. Cricket is a sport for all and it’s important that we embrace that and make it inclusive. I feel privileged that playing for Yorkshire allows me to come along to things like this and I look forward to hearing how the group progress with their new equipment and with Chris as their new coach.”

Kendal James, YCF Community Development Officer for Leeds, said: “Sessions like HALO at Hamara are really important as disabled people are twice as likely to be inactive than non-disabled people. As the charity and community arm of the club, the Foundation work to make a lasting impact on Yorkshire’s communities, which includes supporting the development of groups like HALO.”