You are here: Home » News Detail

Nottingham Knights Victorious at 2014 Development Festival

28th January 2015

Brian Johnston Memorial Trust

By John Garbett, BCEW Development Director

The Brian Johnston Memorial Trust Development Festival took place at Leicester Universities Oadby campus over the weekend of September 6th and 7th.

The event, in its fifth year, was just as successful as the previous four, with visually impaired player participation at around the same level as in 2013 and the weather also held up for us as the sun shone for a good deal of the matches.

The tournament was kindly funded by the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust and organised by Blind Cricket England and Wales.

82 visually impaired cricketers took part over the two days including 14 females and around 15 totally new players.

There was 1 ECB level 3, 2 level 2 and 4 level 1 coaches in attendance and they were kept busy all weekend giving advice to players during games and to any individuals who wanted coaching when not on the field.

Whilst this was a development event, it soon became apparent that there would still be a competitive edge to the weekend and medals were available for the winners and runners up as well as a team Sportsmanship award, a best new player trophy, one for the best female player and both a b1 and partially sighted player of the tournament trophy.

Sadly one team had to pull out at the last minute, leaving seven teams taking part.

The odd team out in each round lent some of their players to various teams in order to keep everyone involved and this meant that teams mixed even more than in previous years, leading to a very congenial atmosphere.

The matches were overseen by experienced VI cricket umpires and scorers, from our national panel, who came from as far afield as north west Cumbria and the South East of England.

The teams were accommodated overnight in the nearby halls of residence at the Oadby Campus, just a 10-minute walk from the cricket pitches and pavilion.

A number of people travelling longer distances took advantage of the offer to travel on the Friday and stayed on the campus for two nights, meaning that they were up and ready to take part in the cricket from the 10am start on Saturday morning.

From the first contact with the University in February 2014 throughout the organising of both the accommodation and cricket , the staff were very helpful and did all they could to make the event a success and there was a great interest in what we were doing from all the departments involved.

We also received a visit from the Leicestershire cricket board development manager, who would like to get a full local team together in time for the 2015 event.

The cricket tournament was run with seven teams, these being Berkshire Stags, Derbyshire Owls, Dorset Dolphins, Durham VICC, Gloucestershire Growlers, London Metro Devils and Nottingham Knights.

There were also individuals from other counties and these were integrated into the seven competing teams.

Games were played in the format of 10 overs per side and teams regularly changed their batting line ups and bowling attacks to give everyone opportunities to get involved.

There were 21 matches played on 3 pitches over the weekend and all were played with a great spirit and enthusiasm.

The overall winners were Nottingham with Metro Devils being runners up and there was a very credible performance from Derbyshire in their first appearance at the event, who combined their playing talents with enthusiasm and good sportsmanship and this led to them receiving the much coveted Spirit of Cricket ' award.

The best B1 and partially sighted players were Evie Klamar and John Hawkins from Dorset & Durham respectively and the award for best female player went to Lois Turner from Metro Devils with best newcomer being Nadeem Khan from the Derbyshire club.

Overall the event was a great success, with everyone enjoying the cricket and the chance to play in a fine location, as well as being able to socialise with visually impaired people from different parts of the country after the close of play.

At BCEW we are already looking towards next year and will be hoping to hold a sixth annual event.

The facilities are so good at Leicester University and with it being such a central location, we are hoping to go back to the same venue in September 2014.

We are very grateful for the funding given to us by the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust and can assure them that the funding was well spent.

Nottingham Knights