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19th April 2024 Foundation

T10 Walking Cricket Winter Games

Taking Walking Cricket in the North East to new heights

Taking Walking Cricket in the North East to new heights

 As the outdoor season of walking cricket came to an end in 2023 the players were asking how the winter was shaping up and if they would get any games as the prospect of just playing in their own hubs didn’t seem overly attractive and they wanted more to look forward to. This set the imagination cogs in motion within the development team and the T10 Winters Games arose from the dusty nursery ground.

The concept was simple, provide a game format that was inclusive of all abilities, kept the important social element, mixed players from across the various hubs, and was fun while adding in a small element of competition, because who doesn’t like a Trophy & Medals presentation adorned with loads of cake.

To begin with, we devised an IPL/Champions League-style draft, to be held at our annual Christmas gathering for the walking cricketers, with players of varying abilities split into pools. With names then pulled from one pool at a time our 5 teams took shape. As with all draws you hope for a pretty level field across all teams but there is that one team that always jumps off the screen as the team to beat, this was the Durham Dabbers.

Games were scheduled to begin in early 2024 and were played every second week. With the support of Everyone Active who provided us with the great facilities at Washington Leisure Centre, we were able to keep the location central and accessible for everyone.

Playing a T10 format, teams consisted of 6 players with everyone required to bowl at least one over and batting in pairs. With some modified rules and fielding restrictions in place to level the playing field, the games got underway with great enthusiasm. Across the preceding 14 weeks, we witnessed some amazing skills, some hilarious blunders and last-ball thrillers but the greatest part about it all was seeing players from different hubs getting to know each other, new friendships being formed between people who may have never crossed paths had it not been for walking cricket.

The ethos of the Winter Games was about being inclusive, social & fun and every single player involved epitomised these values throughout which was so inspiring to see, experienced heads assisting new players, to being understanding and supportive of our most senior players who have mobility and health issues.

3 months, 5 teams, 40 players, 20 matches and 3724 ‘walks’ later the early predictions came to fruition as the Durham Dabbers emerged unbeaten and league victors, but the real action saw a superb bottom-of-the-table clash in the very last match of the winter games between the Ramblers & Boomers as they both vied for the coveted wooden spoon, With the ever inspiration Anne Harrison unable to play for health reason, she came along to cheer on and support her Boomers team and as they say, the 12th man (Lady in this case) makes all the difference as they came out on top, happily conceding the wooden spoon to the ramblers.

The winter games were wrapped up with some hospitality back at Chester le Street and presentations.

 

Winners:

League Champions – Durham Dabbers

Team Players of the Winter

Durham Dabbers – Brian Taylor

Lumley Loafer – Alan Jones

Riverside Ramblers – Joy Johnson

Bishop Boomers – Neil Taylor

Wicket Walkers – Keith Davison

The T10 Winter Games proved to be a massive success and the feedback from all involved has been brilliant, we are very much looking forward to next winter’s edition which will be bigger, brighter and better especially with more players inputting ideas on how we can jazz up the format even more.

A huge thanks has to go to Everyone Active for providing the facility, the development team for all their hard work in running and supporting the teams on match days and especially every single player who helped make our inaugural Winter Games an absolute blast!

Interested in joining our ever-growing group of walking cricketers? Check out our list of hubs below to find one near you!

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