Tom Abell, Roelof van der Merwe, Jack Brooks, Tom Lammonby, Ben Green, Ollie Sale, Will Smeed and Ned Leonard took part in some very special meetings last week.
The Somerset players attended some live virtual Super 1s events in order to support the Somerset Cricket Board’s Disability Programme.
Super 1s is a national project designed to give young people with disabilities the chance to regularly play cricket. Weekly sessions aimed at 12 to 25-year-olds were once again due to take place across the county this year but due to Covid-19 this has proved difficult.
However, as SCB’s Growth & Participation Officer, Steve Gass explains, the Somerset Cricket Board have been determined to continue engaging with those involved with the Super 1s initiative.
“Over the past nine months, we have endeavoured to maintain our connection with our Super 1s participants,” he said. “During the summer, the programme was supported by six fantastic local cricket clubs who ensured coaching could take place in a safe environment. However, during the lockdown periods, face to face coaching ceased.
“To reduce the impact of no Super 1s, SCB managed to run the six Super 1 hubs virtually. Last week was the final set of four virtual sessions for each of our six hubs. To mark the end of the virtual sessions, we were lucky to be joined by Somerset County Cricket Club professionals.
“It was great to see the SCCC pros throw themselves into our activities on the evening. It was a great experience for our participants to hear about the players experiences and challenges during lockdown. Then our boys and girls had the opportunity to ask a question on anything they wanted.”
The players were well received by the participants and their families as Steve explained.
“A parent of a participant said that having Tom (Lammonby) and Will (Smeed) in the meeting was a great way to end the session. You could see all the youngsters were enjoying asking the questions. The players were brilliant and a credit to themselves and Somerset CCC. She has told me that after the session she was showing her son some pictures from the SCC website. She also said that it would be amazing to see the players in an England shirt in the future and to be able to say to her son that he had interviewed an England player.
“It’s been important to continue our interaction as best we can with all of our participants because we know that social isolation and loneliness has been exacerbated by Coronavirus in young people and adults with disabilities. Our virtual sessions have been an opportunity for participants to see each other, get connected and simply have some fun!”
Somerset Club Captain, Tom Abell said: “The sessions were absolutely brilliant, and feedback from the rest of the players has been really positive. Hopefully it stimulates more people to get involved because it’s a great initiative and it’s amazing to be able to help in the community where possible.
“We had a great time on our zoom call and hopefully we can follow it up and get involved in some capacity again in the near future.”
To find out more information on SCB’s free Super 1s Cricket programme in your area, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org