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18 Nov

BLOG: How Walking Cricket has helped my mental health

Walking Cricket makes the traditional game of cricket accessible to 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).

Adele Davidson, 55, took up Walking Cricket in Rotherham two months ago, and below she blogs about how taking part in the activity has helped her life.

Recently I’ve been off work for quite a while with some mental health difficulties and one of the things I really struggle with is when I isolate myself and stay in, as my mental health gets a lot worse.

I’ve always been interested in sport, and done sport all my life – but as I’ve got older I’ve done less and less.

Because I live by myself and haven’t got a lot of family – I had a look around at some activities I could get involved in and I found out about u3a and Walking Cricket. I decided to give it a try.

Since starting Walking Cricket I’ve become a new person almost – because I have been getting out, mixing with other people, I’ve been getting some light exercise and there’s also the social element to it. – Adele Davidson, a Rotherham u3a Walking Cricket participant

Since starting Walking Cricket though I’ve become a new person almost – because I have been getting out, mixing with other people, I’ve been getting some light exercise and there’s also the social element to it.

The social side has really helped me. We play men and women mixed and everyone is lovely. For instance if there are a couple of women new to the game, with hitting it the male players will throw it a little bit softer so people can have a good game.

It doesn’t really matter about age – it’s for anybody that wants to do something in a group and that has got a bit of spare time and wants to get involved in an activity.

Also a few weeks into playing I was given the opportunity to take part in a special women’s celebration match organised as part of the Walking Cricket League finals day with 16 Walking Cricket women coming together from across Yorkshire.

Read more: Walking Cricket League finals & women’s celebration game

It was brilliant – just to be able to meet up with other women. It didn’t matter about your ability, it was just about getting together and having a natter with people from different towns and cities and getting a few tips off others as well.

I saw some good bowlers on the day – and picked up a few tips for my own bowling. I really enjoyed it and after we played we were able to sit down and have a chat with people and Yorkshire Cricket put on a great spread for us as well.

Pictured, a special women’s celebration match took place at the start of the Walking Cricket League Final 2022.

Playing Walking Cricket has helped my mental health tremendously. Sometimes when you are suffering with mental health you need an excuse to leave the house and go and do something – whatever it is that you are interested in.

Isolation is one of the worst things you can do, I think a lot of people with mental health conditions tend to isolate a little bit, but when you do that, you are on a downward spiral… Once you are on that spiral it’s awful – the key thing is to get out and about and get healthy.

Walking Cricket has given me the chance to get out and leave the house and meet other people. Having that contact with other people and a little bit of conversation and a bit of company has been great.

Since playing everybody has said – ‘you are looking a lot better’, ‘you are sounding a lot better’, ‘I’m really pleased that you are getting out and doing things.

I’ve really, really enjoyed it and I’ll keep on with it.

To find out more about our Walking Cricket programme, and to get involved, please click on the link below:

Walking Cricket – making the traditional game of cricket accessible to older adults.

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