Walking Cricket makes the traditional game of cricket accessible to those who identity as older adults.
It was developed as a new concept in 2019 and is a project that makes cricket accessible to those who identify as older adults, are semi – retired or retired, by tailoring the traditional game of Cricket to suit those with less mobility and by catering for different abilities. The project was formed by a partnership with the University of the third age (U3A) and the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF).
This is Rhiannon’s story of how taking part in Walking Cricket has helped her..
I have been a member of U3A for about a year and tried two groups and whilst they were welcoming, I didn’t go back. I was aware the only group I had joined and stayed with was the Facebook Group. I do like to socialise a little but find it hard to do so. I know the right things to say but being able to say them isn’t always there. Then this new group, Mac’s Walking Cricket appeared on our Facebook page and I without thinking about it too much (because I do overthink sometimes) and decided to register my interest.
After this, Mac sent an appeal to the Cricket Group members, about needing a treasurer and scorer. I really did jump in with both feet as I have done bits of treasury stuff before through Scouting, but I hadn’t the foggiest about Cricket. It was so very new to me but I needed more in my life to get involved with. What could go wrong? It’s not like I am scoring a major international cricket match – but that first meet up we did in January this year, it might well have been, as it felt like it for me! Quite what had I agreed to do as the official scorer when I didn’t even know about starting at 200 runs?! I don’t know.
Roy – who is an ECB qualified Umpire – is the best Umpire for telling me the scores in layman’s terms and I am slowly picking it up.
For me, I feel accepted into this mixed group. I love being outside and feel really part of the whole game. Now I am a little bit more relaxed than that first meet up. But for me I like scoring, as I am 100% totally engaged with the whole game all the way through. I am concentrating on keeping up with the scoring. It feels good when people ask me what the scores are. It feels good when there are friendly jokes. Two hours of being in the fresh air among people who like being active, even though most know much more about Cricket than I do, is great.
Everyone is so friendly. I am too occupied to worry about not knowing socially what to say for myself, where in other groups, they may be making things etc. but chatting at the same time, I find it difficult. It’s okay that I am shy and a little socially awkward. Scoring at Cricket makes me feel useful to the team. And only Roy and maybe Mac would realise there may be some creative scoring going off at times when they read it through later.
It’s all about having fun, and being able to contribute at my level and feel worthwhile. I have done something very positive that morning, and it feels good when I get back home afterwards.