Alastair Cook makes surprise visit to blind young cricketers
In January 2017, RSBC merged with the Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB). Although we are now called RSBC, there may be some references to RLSB in the following article.
The England Cricket Captain, Alastair Cook, took time out on Monday to play cricket with twenty blind young Londoners from the Royal London Society for Blind People.
The Captain delighted the young cricket fans with an hour long session at the Cricket4Change ground in Wallington. Tutored by Mark Bond, who plays for England’s Blind Cricket Team, Cook was taught how to bat, field and bowl whilst wearing special glasses that limited his vision, giving him a sense of what it would be like to be sight impaired.
Cook said ”The kids here are clearly as mad about cricket as I was at their age. It’s great that RLSB run this group so they can excel at a sport they love playing, regardless of their sight impairment.”
Fresh from England’s recent ICC win, Cook then gave a batting master class to the group, followed by a presentation of signed bats. The visit was part of Yorkshire Bank’s ‘Giving Bat to You’ campaign which rewards fans for supporting cricket and aims to get more people picking up a bat and playing the sport in their communities this summer.
Mark Bond, who also coaches the RLSB Cricket4 Change team, said of today “The kids couldn’t believe that they were stood on the pitch they play on nearly every week with the England Captain. Alastair was fantastic with them. I know they will remember this day forever.”
Cricket along with other sports is a great way for blind young people to build confidence in mobility, communication and trusting others. It also brings about long lasting friendships which breaks down isolation and exclusion which many blind young Londoners experience.
Despite the benefits, there is currently a very low participation rate in sport amongst blind young people. This year RLSB will be launching a campaign “Game on, London.” which aims to get hundreds of young people into sport through a series of events across the capital.
June 30, 2013