"I would like to recommend ‘Cricket for Change’ to any school. Their staff are extremely professional with clear goals and highly skilled in their delivery, motivation and rapport with the pupils."
Spotlight on Owais Niaz
Below we hear from, Owais Niaz, a Cricket for Change Hit the Top Peer Leader and how he became involved with Cricket for Change and what cricket means to him:
Can you please introduce yourself?
Hello, my name is Owais Niaz and I am a Hit the Top peer leader.
How did you become involved with Cricket For Change (C4C)?
I went to Joseph Clarke School for the Visually Impaired in Highams Park, London and C4C came along to the school to run cricket coaching sessions (Run by Adam Hall, C4C Development Manager), which I really enjoyed. I have been involved with C4C ever since Adam (Hall) asked me if I wanted to play for Essex Visually Impaired (VI) cricket team. I was Captain of the Essex VI team and am now the manager, which means calling up the team, sorting out fixtures and generally getting the team organised to play.
What kind of work are you now doing for Cricket for Change?
As a C4C Hit the Top Peer Leader, I have been doing a lot of research on getting Hit the Top (HTT) into mainstream schools in Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest. After finding out the numbers of schools and other information, I have been setting up and overseeing HTT coaching sessions and seeing how they are running and working.
As a Visually Impaired person, what does cricket mean to you and your life?
It means an awful lot because I thought cricket was only available for people at mainstream schools. I did play cricket at my school but only at lunchtimes and when C4C and Adam (Hall) came along I really enjoyed playing it all the time.
I enjoy all sport but I love playing cricket. I have had the chance to play for and represent my county. Cricket has changed me by building me up, giving me more confidence and independence and helped me get involved with C4C.
What do you enjoy most about working for Cricket for Change?
Everything! I get on well with everyone who works at C4C, everyone is friendly, fun and helpful to me on a daily basis. I get involved in as much as possible and with whatever Andy DW (whom I look up to) asks me to do. There are always people there to advise me if I ask for it.
Ambitions for 2011?
In 2011, I would like to get more schools and clubs playing 'Hit the Top'.
If you could sum up your Cricket for Change experiences in four (4) words, what would they be?
Fun, Fantastic, Amazing and Marvelous!
By Owais Niaz – Hit the Top Peer Leader – November 2010