Hillingdon emerged as worthy victors at the Lord’s Taverners Super 1s Finals at Lord’s last week, seeing off Hackney in a nail-biting finale to the competition.

The Super 1s programme gives young people with disabilities aged 12-25 the chance to play cricket regularly, as well as the opportunity to take part in a year round competition structure, which culminated in the finals at Lord’s.

By creating community cricket hubs, delivered weekly by the county cricket boards, the Super 1s programme gives disabled young people the chance to compete against their peers, enjoy the benefits of sport and live a more active life.

One of eight teams to qualify for the finals, Hillingdon escaped from Group 2 on Thursday, which also featured Sutton, Hackney and Newham, before progressing past Bexley in the semi-finals and edging out Hackney by four runs in a thrilling final.

“It’s been a great day for Hillingdon,” said Michael Wilson, who heads up disability cricket for Middlesex Cricket and oversees the Hillingdon team.

“We’ve put up a really good fight in all of the games today. It’s the first time we’ve been here, so to come out as winners is a huge plus. We’ve got some really good players in our team and they’ve been coached really well.”

Hillingdon Times:

For many young people with disabilities throughout the UK, opportunities to take part in regular competitive sport can be extremely limited. But Super 1s has created a new pathway for disabled young people to play the game and benefits youngsters in all aspects of their life.

“Our Super 1s sessions are made up of a group of kids who come from various different schools and organisations and this is the only time they get together,” Wilson added. “They’re making friends from all over their area that they wouldn’t otherwise get to meet. But it’s not just the kids who create that bond as well, it’s also the parents that bring them.

“When we started the group there was a lot of them who hadn’t played cricket before but they’re so much more confident in themselves now. They’ve not played much other sport prior to playing cricket, but everything they know about drive and confidence, it all comes from playing cricket. They’re social network gets bigger as does their confidence from playing.”

Hillingdon Times:

Launched in 2013, Super 1s was initially introduced in four London boroughs and is now delivered in all 32. It is also now active in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk, Scotland and Sussex.

In late 2017, the programme expanded into Greater Manchester and Warwickshire. 2018 has seen Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Yorkshire also begin to deliver the programme. Over the next few months, young people in Durham and Somerset will also be given the opportunity to engage in Super 1s.

The Lord's Taverners is the UK's leading youth cricket and disability sports charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance.