Sussex Cricket held its annual disability inclusion day – called DIScoverABILITY Day.
This year, the flagship community event celebrated its 10th anniversary with over 500 people from thirty different organisations including schools, colleges, day centres and community organisationsenjoying a fun-filled day at The 1st Central County Ground.
The diverse range of activities were put together and run by an enthusiastic team of twelve Sussex Cricket coaches, eight county Disability Squad players and 50 business and community volunteers.
The majority of the volunteers came from a variety of Sussex businesses including First Central, Focus Group, Mishon Mackay, Galloways, IEP Financial, Oliver & Graimes, Irwin Mitchell and Yes Promo Products. The event was also supported by 50 sports leaders from Worthing High School, Shoreham Academy, Dorothy Stringer School, Durrington High School and Blatchington Mill School.
The sports leaders escorted visiting groups around the different activity zones including old favourites like the Sussex Cricket Foundation inflatables and Sid the Shark’s Big Hit Challenge. New additions included Albion in the Community, Brighton Table Tennis Club and Sussex Bears Wheelchair Basketball running adapted activities of their sports incorporating a cricket theme.
Visitors also had the option to just play matches covering three different formats of the game - Lord Taverner’s Table Cricket, Blind Cricket and Kwik Cricket. Sid the Shark was on hand again for numerous photo opportunities and proved as popular as ever, as did current Sussex squad members Ben Brown, Harry Finch, David Wiese, Tymal Mills, Stiaan Van Zyl, Danny Briggs, George Garton and Will Sheffield who – alongside their head coach, Jason Gillespie - all joined in the fun.
Despite the grey, drizzly conditions the outfield was full of smiling faces for the entire day, which generated some great comments from visitors and volunteers. Katie Humphries, a teacher at Hazel Court FE College (Eastbourne), said: “The students we took loved the activities and being at the cricket ground, as well as meeting some of the Sussex team and of course the mascot. Thank you again for your hard work in making cricket accessible to our students.”
Andy James, chief commercial officer at 1st Central added: “It was incredibly humbling and rewarding to be a part of DIScoverABILITY Day. As a company, First Central places great importance on giving back to the local communities where we work and empowering people to fulfil their potential. This approach is aligned to the Sussex Cricket Foundation’s aim of using the sport to enrich the lives of young people with disabilities, and it was great to see first-hand what an impact this can have.
“My personal highlight was seeing the look of achievement on people’s faces when they managed to knock all three balls off the stumps in one go.”
Reflecting on the day, Chris Coleman, Sussex Cricket’s head of community cricket said: “It’s been another superb DIScoverABILITY Day, and while it was more coat weather than shorts weather, there was no shortage of smiling faces. Seeing kids and young adults meeting some of the Sussex pros and Sid the Shark will live long in the memory.
“The day offers many of our corporate partners and their employees the opportunity to come down and see what the other side of Sussex Cricket do away from the first team. A great day and we all can’t wait of next year.”