Hackney squad reflect on a memorable day after making final of Super 1s at Lord’s
- Credit: Archant
Hackney put up a brave fight as they reached the Lord’s Taverners Super 1s Finals at Lord’s last week, losing out to Hillingdon in a nail-biting finale, while two of their players were named Fielder and Bowler of the Finals to cap a memorable day.
The Super 1s programme gives young people with disabilities aged 12-25 the chance to play cricket regularly, as well as the opportunity to take part in a year round competition structure, which culminated in the finals at Lord’s.
By creating community cricket hubs, delivered weekly by the county cricket boards, the Super 1s programme gives disabled young people the chance to compete against their peers, enjoy the benefits of sport and live a more active life.
One of eight teams to qualify for the finals, Hackney escaped from Group Two on Thursday, which also featured Sutton, Hillingdon and Newham, before progressing past Kingston in the semi-finals only to be edged out by four runs by Hillingdon in the showpiece event.
“We’ve played well today,” said Hackney coach Gary Horsman. “It’s been one of those days where you say it’s about participation but then you get excited about the tension of playing and you start encouraging your players more than might usually do, but it’s been a great day.
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“It’s our fifth time here. We won the first time here, then finalists and then semi-finalists twice and now another final – so not bad!”
For many young people with disabilities throughout the UK, opportunities to take part in regular competitive sport can be extremely limited.
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Super 1s, though, has created a new pathway for disabled young people to play the game and benefits youngsters in all aspects of their life.
“Every time we come along it’s a chance for all the players to meet up with old friends on other sides,” Horsman added.
“It’s about more than just playing cricket. Super 1s is about personal development. With our group, through this, they meet and socialise outside of our networks.
“They’ve learnt about leadership, teamwork, supporting each other. This has helped them develop life skills for the future.
“Super 1s does that as that’s what it’s about. Yes, it’s a cricket programme, but most people realise it’s about personal development. It’s really important.”
Hackney were helped to the final through the fine form of Richard Barnes and Terrance Frank, who were named the Super 1s Fielder of the finals and Bowler of the finals respectively.
Barnes said: “I’ve been playing for a long time. We’ve done the best that we could today. Me and the whole team just love to play.”
Launched in 2013, Super 1s was initially introduced in four London boroughs and is now delivered in all 32. It is also now active in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk, Scotland and Sussex.
In late 2017, the programme expanded into Greater Manchester and Warwickshire. 2018 has seen Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Yorkshire also begin to deliver the programme. Over the next few months, young people in Durham and Somerset will also be given the opportunity to engage in Super 1s.
The Lord’s Taverners is the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance.