First All Female Blind Cricket team to carry Paraylmpic Torch
Five girls from the first ever all female Blind Cricket team in Europe have been picked to carry the Paralympic Torch from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic Stadium on the 28th and 29th August. The five, from the team, which is coached by Cricket for Change and has had crucial funding support from the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust also includes three guide dog owners, are; Diane Marks (with Guide Dog Thomas), Ramona Williams, Theresa Robberts (with Guide Dog Rikki), Sarah Clare with (Guide Dog Thomas) and Daniella Garritt (all in the image below).
Team member, Theresa Roberts (and who works for Guide Dogs), explains why being chosen is such an honour; “Sight loss left me in a world of darkness and depression. Being a lover of sport I was forced to be become a frustrated spectator. ‘Rikki’, my guide dog brought back my independence and freedom which encouraged me to get off the couch and sidelines and back on the playing fields”.
Theresa continues: “I started to play Blind Cricket but was all most always the only female on the pitch. Together with Cricket for Change and our coach Beth Evans we started working on a dream, to build an all female blind cricket team, the first of its kind in the UK and Europe”.
Cricket for Change believes that cricket can be used to make a positive impact on the lives of blind and partially sighted women and girls and will help them make positive choices about their lives and to help them feel good about themselves. It’s more than just cricket it’s about changing lives for the better. Cricket is uniqe as it is able to help those with a disability share in the benefits of competitive team sport.
With the help of Cricket for Change their dreams are becoming a reality. The best results are seeing the girls blossom, starting out with low self-esteem, they change into confident, competitive team mates. Their individual stories are truly inspirational, some gaining employment, some graduating from university and expanding their social circles.
‘Playing cricket has inspired me to be more confident and ambitious, It taught me that a healthy body leads to a healthy state of mind’, continues Theresa.
Beth Evans, their C4C Coach is very excited for the girls and says, “I am extremely proud of them, the team and their fantastic achievements. I hope they have a great day because they deserve it”.
Some of the team below with their Guide Dogs