Fancy a Game?

For as long as I can remember I have loved sports, both watching and playing. After losing my sight playing sport became a little bit of an after thought, I mean I was blind, what sport could I possibly do. Having no idea that there is a whole world of sports adapted to suit disabled people. Now I use that term very lightly indeed. Disabled should not be a word used to described some of the incredible people. Talented beyond belief. Differently abled is more suitable. People with disabilities yes, but the ability to play sports at a higher level that I could even dream of when I was fully able bodied.

So, not that I had any aspiration to be anywhere near Paralympic level, I started trawling the internet on my tiny mobile phone which was pretty well useless. Tech at the time was no where near what it is now. My efforts to find some kind of sport I could play in resulted in me playing tiddlywinks at an old peoples home. Mrs Smith had the years on me and beat me every time. I am sure she was cheating some how. Don’t even get me started on Reg and Arthur. Those boys knew every tiddlywinks trick in the book.

I gave up looking for what I could join in the end and decided I  had to take matters into my own hands. After a lot of hard work and getting the group which is now known as Outlook off the ground I, along with a few others founded the Gloucestershire Visually Impaired County Cricket Club. A sport I had never played before one late summers day some five years ago now. It seems like just yesterday.

Blind cricket you say? You must be mad!!! Well, the truth is, I probably am a bit mad but you have to be to start such a venture. Cricket after all is a game played with eleven players and at the time we had 6. Great squad numbers I know. At the time I was dubious, many conversations would take place between myself and the coach at the time about whether or not we could get it off the ground and make it work. It seemed unlikely to ever happen when we turn up a the ground for only 3 or 4 people to be there most without any knowledge of cricket at all. But hey, you have to start somewhere right?

Over the years we have grown and attracted players from far and wide. Even people from the mighty cricketing nation of Wales. It is advantageous to have Wales so close as they do not have a blind cricket team these day’s. We are close enough for people to jump on a train and come to join us so thank you Wales.

So the team now known as the Gloucestershire Growlers after one infamous afternoon in a wooden shack in Gloucester have developed into a good unit. We have our moments of brilliance where very few batsman can touch our bowling, we have our moments of epic fails where we can lose a game on the last ball as someone runs when it was wiser not too. But with all of the mishaps and all of the good cricket our motley crew produce, it is always fun. The bus journeys are full of laughter, the banter is always on point and you can always guarantee a good pint after the game (or before in some cases) not that we endorse it.

At the end of it all when I look back to all of the struggles and the hours spent to form the embers of what is now a club burning brighter and brighter every season, you have to say, it was all worth it. Friendships for life are formed, exercise is always good and my trophy shelf has some welcome additions which for a while I didn’t think would happen. After all there is no prize for winning tiddlywinks at an old persons home.

That’s it for now

Speak soon




Fancy a Game?

It’s True What They Say!

Kids say the funniest things don’t they?

I am not a parent, I am an uncle. So maybe I shouldn’t be preaching but hey, never mind. I did say there may be a little controversy so here goes.

Parents please listen, if your child is asking mummy what’s in that mans hand? when they see me guiding myself using my white stick, JUST TELL THEM. There really is no reason to be coy or embarrassed by it, In fact I am embarrassed for you that you can’t tell them. Most of the time I feel like turning around to educate the little critters myself but I am not sure how the parents would take it.

How are the future generations going to learn about disabilities from such an impressionable age if you don’t as parents help them along the way. There have been very few times when the parent does try to explain to the child what it is for and I say fair play to them. In fact some explanations can be pretty funny when you hear a parent trying  to explain and the child uses that magical word ‘WWHHHYYYY?’

For the rest, it for me begs the question, do they not know what it is for themselves?

They wouldn’t be alone I am sure, parents are getting younger maybe there parents never taught them, and so here is the problem. A lot of people with disabilities get set to one side of society at times treated a second best and incapable. Clearly that isn’t the case. If disability was being taught from the youngest of ages possible, I don’t think this would be the case.

With the Paralympics coming up, I urge you to watch some of the most awe-inspiring acts of human ability you will ever see. Sit down with your children and explain things. Get behind GB and embrace the remarkable people that are out there all around you.

That’s it for now

All the best


It’s True What They Say!