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Young cricketers get tips from Kent and England batsman Sam Billings at Disability Cricket Finals

PUBLISHED: 16:41 17 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:35 18 October 2017

Sam Billings umpiring the semi-final with Bexley�s Sam Alderson bowling

Sam Billings umpiring the semi-final with Bexley�s Sam Alderson bowling

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Bexley’s team headed to Lord’s for the finals

The Bexley team also had the unique opportunity to take part in a coaching session with Kent and England wicket-keeper batsman, Sam BillingsThe Bexley team also had the unique opportunity to take part in a coaching session with Kent and England wicket-keeper batsman, Sam Billings

Young cricketers were given the chance to learn from England batsman Sam Billings and play at Lord’s last week.

The Lord’s Taverners Disability Cricket Finals saw young people from across London come together on Thursday, with Bexley’s beating its personal best and reaching the semi-finals.

As well as winning all three of their group games, the borough’s team took part in a coaching session from Kent and England wicket-keeper and batsman Sam Billings, who gave youngsters some vital tips ahead of their last few games.

But for Bexley, their run in the finals came to an end when they lost in the semi-finals to a strong Hackney side.

Aimed at disabled young people aged 12 to 25, the championships were set up as a year-round cricket programme in 2013, and is encouraging more London boroughs and areas further afield to join in.

Weekly cricket sessions are delivered across the capital by Essex, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey County Cricket Boards, within community hub environments. The programme also provides regular opportunities for these hubs to compete with other groups across London and aims to be active in all 32 London boroughs by September 2018.

Since its launch in 2013, the programme has provided accessible sporting opportunities, and the chance to play competitive cricket, for over 2,000 young people with a physical, learning, or sensory disability, across 29 London boroughs.

Stuart Cowen, chief executive of the Berkeley Foundation said: “This is a great example of how the public, private and voluntary sectors can work together with a real sense of social purpose. We are proud to support these young cricketers and delighted that in the fifth year of Berkeley’s support in 2018, the programme will be delivered in all 32 London boroughs.”

Chief executive of the Lord’s Taverners, Paul Robin, said: “This was our biggest and best Disability Cricket Finals yet and it was fantastic to see all the players, coaches, parents and carers, go home with a smile on their face. Thanks to the support of the Berkeley Foundation we’ll be able to deliver the programme in all 32 London boroughs next year and we’re excited about taking the programme to Birmingham and Manchester for the first time in 2018.”

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