A history of The Lord's Taverners, the people who make it happen in South Africa, and partnerships we have forged.
The South African chapter of the Lord's Taverners was started in 2015 by David Ralph with the mandate of introducing Table Cricket into schools for the disabled. The first game was donated to Forest Town School in Johannesburg in early 2016 and currently over 20 schools throughout the country are playing the game.
The game has recently been endorsed by St Joseph's Rondebosch, and various inter-school competitions have also commenced in Cape Town, where donations have been made to eight other schools including Agape, Tembaletu, Paarl School, Astra, Vista Nova, Bel Porto, St Josephs Montana and Eros. It is also played in four schools in Durban, four in Johannesburg, and one in Pretoria.
The Lord's Taverners are also committed to giving the disadvantaged communities a sporting chance by collecting and recycling old cricket kit to those who need it most, with the Ukhanyo Primary School in Masiphumelele township, Fish Hoek the most recent recipients.
Lord's Taverners UK - A brief history
In 1950 a group of like-minded cricket enthusiasts gathered in the famous Tavern at Lord’s Cricket Ground. They realised how lucky they were to be enjoying their sport and socialising with friends, and so the conversation turned to a shared desire to help those less fortunate than themselves. With that, the idea of creating a club to help young people took hold.
By September 1950 the club had more than 70 members, including the broadcaster John Snagge and cricketer Jack Hobbs. Esteemed actor, John Mills, took on the role of President and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh was delighted to become the Patron and Twelfth Man (a position he holds to this day). The club began to raise money and the first charitable contributions to the National Playing Fields Association were made.
The Lord's Taverners South Africa decided to expand their charitable activities from just supporting disabled cricket to a wider assistance to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. A match was found in the Western Cape with Sporting Chance, an organisation that shares similar objectives.
Sporting Chance, through incredible humans like Bradlyn Stuurman and Natalie Pollock, now runs both the Table Cricket coaching and coaching clinics across various townships through the Western Cape.
Lord's Taverners and Sporting Chance continue to explore avenues to bring joy and opportunity to those in less fortunate positions.