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18 Feb

Cricket “Walks” across Yorkshire

The fastest growing sport Walking Cricket, originated in Barnsley by Barnsley U3A.
Walking Cricket is the fastest growing sport for older people in Yorkshire, a bewildering pace from Barnsley’s start early last year.
Barnsley, Doncaster, Huddersfield, Kirklees, Rotherham, Wakefield, Sheffield, Whitby, Scarborough with Notton, Harrogate and Rippon on the horizon to name but a few – With more starting this year. We get as well as some players with no experience, some serious ex cricketers, who are able to play again the sport we all Love.

Let me introduce you to one of our latest members Chris Parkes (the umpire on the right), who writes: –

“I played Senior Cricket from the age of 12 until 62 – exactly 50 yrs. Unfortunately, bowel and kidney cancer forced my retirement, but 2 operations cured those. During my 20’s Rugby Union took up my winters, culminating in winning the Yorkshire Cup with Wakefield in 1969. To be closer to the action I took up cricket umpiring in 2005, and soon progressed to do the Senior Cup Final in 2008.

In 2009 I moved up to the Bradford Premier League for 3 years and then another 3yrs in the South Yorkshire senior League- during which time I had 2 hips replaced.
I returned to the Bradford League in 2017 as South York’s told me I was too old. My thought was – mature and experienced!.

From 2012 onwards I got involved with England Blind Cricket and this led to accompanying the England Blind Ladies Team to play 5 matches against West Indies Ladies in Barbados. My highlight was being introduced to Sir Garfield Sobers (the greatest all-rounder of modern times – In my opinion!). The Ladies were wonderful throughout some trying experiences – making memories to last a lifetime!.

Thanks to Mac Mckechnie from Barnsley U3A Walking Cricket and The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation I will again be involved with umpiring Deaf Cricket at a senior level during the coming season, as well as playing for, and umpiring with Barnsley U3A Walking Cricket team.

Like a lot of retired people, I still yearn to play, and have now discovered Walking Cricket through joining U3A. The camaraderie and social aspect are fantastic and the game itself is going from strength to strength. Anyone with a sporting background, or with no experience at all should have a go – it keeps you fit and mentally alert, and for many helps to alleviate loneliness in the community”.


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