Background

Westquarter & Redding Cricket Club has equality, diversity, and inclusion at the heart of everything it does with the newly formed Bailliefields Community Hub having this in its charity objects:

“The promotion of equality and diversity in everything we do, providing equal opportunities irrespective of age, gender, ability, and ethnicity. To remove barriers by being open and offering opportunities to all to volunteer and participate.”

The ethos of the club is to treat all equally which can be seen in the design of the new fully accessible modular changing rooms with facilities to cater for all needs and a main access path suitable for all visitors. So, when Cricket Scotland asked for applications to become a Disability Champion Club this was an obvious way to further these aims.
Over the last few years, the club has grown its support of groups that may not attend traditional mainstream activities to provide them with equal opportunities to take part in sport. The club follow a simple process to create and support programmes by firstly identifying a need then finding partner groups to jointly deliver these programmes. The club have several established programmes that will now be part of Cricket Scotland’s Disability Champion Club programme allowing these to grow and provide a competitive element.  The Enhanced Provision All Stars programme developed by WRCC in partnership with Cricket Forth Valley is now a key part of Cricket Scotland’s Disability Cricket Pathway which the club are extremely proud of.

In recognition of al the clubs hard work they were presented with Cricket Scotland’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion award in February 2020.

This followed the club gaining national recognition for their hard work and effort by winning the 2019 Sunday Mail / SportScotland Local Club of the year with SportScotland praising the clubs “‘… impressive community work and approach to inclusiveness, …”.

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Programmes

Plus Forth Valley Sessions
These sessions came from speaking to one of the club’s juniors parents who was happy her daughter had so much choice with dancing and cricket but her son, who was autistic, had a lot less to get involved with and do, the club felt they wanted to see what they could do to improve this.

To equip their coaches, the club provided a Coaching Children with Autism course to ensure that the sessions provided the best experience possible. This training showed the importance of controlling noise, importance of physical demonstrations and letting the children move in and out of the session as they wanted and to ensure they felt comfortable.

The club ran three sessions tailored to the needs of the children and delivered onsite at Plus Forth Valley in a familiar, comfortable, and safe environment.

This training has proved invaluable to coaches who also run the club’s main offerings of All Stars (5-8) and Westies which are attended by children with autism and ADHD, providing a better experience for them and ensuring their continued participation in main stream activities.

 

Try Something New – Alzheimer Scotland
A relative of one of the club’s Directors was diagnosed with Alzheimer so they investigated activities available to them and found several things they could do in Glasgow but a similar search in Falkirk did not return very much.

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To see how the club could help they reached out to Alzheimer Scotland and started working with the local dementia advisor. A one-off trial with cricket and archery was held in November 2018 with fantastic feedback from all who attended.

In January 2019 the Try Something New Group was formed and ran by the club with marketing and links to local people living with dementia provided by Alzheimer Scotland.

Activities done by the group to date include:

  • Cricket
  • Archery
  • Ball Room Dancing
  • Italian
  • Photography
  • Dementia Dogs
  • Petanque
  • Indoor Curling
  • Tennis
  • Indoor Bowls
  • Drumming
  • Chair Yoga
  • Tai Chi

The club have reached out to other community groups to support the programme including Laurieston Tennis Club and Laurieston Bowls Club.

In 2019 the club were nominated for the Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative award at the Scottish Dementia Awards.

From all the entries the group were selected as one of only three finalists and invited to attend the awards ceremony to help celebrate the achievements of those outstanding individuals, groups and organisations making a difference for people living with dementia and their families across health, social service, and community settings.

The awards took place at the Raddison Blue Hotel in Glasgow with the club hiring a minibus to take some of the group’s members, two directors of the club and two employees of Alzheimer Scotland to the event.
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Although the group did not win everyone was extremely proud of being chosen as a finalist in the group’s first year!

“It has been really rewarding to see the personal development of those who took part in the activities displaying their strengths, potential and willingness to learn new skills. Some members have gained such pleasure from some of the activities that they wish to pursue some of these activities out with the session, and I know at least one member who has downloaded a yoga app onto their phone.”
Justine Davidson, Dementia Advisor

For 2021 a partnership with Physio Led Pilates, a club sponsor, will see them deliver sessions for the group later in the year.

 

Table Cricket- Forth Valley Disability Sports

Table cricket is well established in England with the finals of the national competition being held at Lords Cricket Ground. Within Scotland there were sessions being run in areas such as Perth but nothing in the Forth Valley.

The club investigated running sessions and purchased a table cricket set and sourced a table tennis table. Contact was made with Graham Harvey of Forth Valley Disability Sports as an established provider of activities for disabled people.

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Graham loved the game which allows people with varying disabilities to play together along with able bodied people. It was added to Forth Valley Disability sports regular sessions and delivered by the club in conjunction with Cricket Scotland.
Table cricket will be an integral feature of the clubs new Disability Section as part of its work as a Cricket Scotland Disability Champion Club.

 

Enhanced Provision All Stars

One of the club’s coaches does not work on a Friday and was keen to provide opportunities for children not attending the club’s mainstream activities. In consultation with Falkirk’s Active Schools Disability co-ordinator a link was made to Easter Carmuirs Enhanced Provision class.

The Enhanced Provision class is attended by children with physical disabilities, learning difficulties or autism and they initially took part in a four-week programme as an introduction to cricket using the clubs All Stars kit.

All the children really enjoyed the sessions, but the club did not want it to just stop. Working with Cricket Scotland and All Stars the school was set up as an All Stars centre which meant that the school got its own equipment so they can always play cricket.

The club gave up its share of the cost (rrp £40) with Beyond Boundaries supplying funding and the remaining cost was covered from the schools PEF funding (Pupil Equity Funding is additional funding allocated directly to schools and targeted at closing the poverty related attainment gap).

This meant that there was no cost to the families with all 12 of the children receiving their own hat, t-shirt (with name), rucksack, bat, and ball.

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“The funding available to subsidise the program enabled us to sign up all our pupils and get them involved. This would not have been possible if it were not subsidised”
Debbie Campbell, Enhanced Provision Teacher, Easter Carmuirs

The 8 All Stars sessions were delivered by the club and Cricket Scotland and the kids all loved it! The teachers also noticed behaviour improvements and hand/eye co-ordination improvements over the sessions.

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“Parents have been very positive with many of them reporting that their child is using their first kit at home. The All Stars programme was delivered by excellent coaches who understood the needs of our pupils and really invested in them. Our pupils would find it extremely challenging to access mainstream class due to their additional needs, so this opportunity has been fantastic for them. We would recommend All Stars to other Enhanced Provision.”
Debbie Campbell, Enhanced Provision Teacher, Easter Carmuirs

At the end of the eight weeks the All Stars each received a certificate and medal to congratulate them on their hard work and fun they had during the programme.
The medals and certificates were presented by club Director & Coach Stephen Sutton and Kevin Taylor a trustee of Cricket Forth Valley SCIO.

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In August 2020 when schools in Scotland returned after the first lockdown the first thing the EP class asked to do was to go outside and play cricket!

Enhanced Provision All Stars is now part of Cricket Scotland’s Disability Pathway.

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