Learners at St Joseph’s Special School in Montana, Cape Town, were thrilled to receive a Table Cricket Table from the Lord’s Taverners yesterday, sponsored by The Kove Collection.
St Joseph’s Special School caters for chronically-ill children and children with special education needs, and having Table Cricket at their school means they will be able to participate in a competitive sport, which for many of them would otherwise not be possible.
Stephan Delport, Sales Manager of the Alphen Boutique Hotel, which is part of the Kove Collection, presented the table to school Principal Carla Paulse, excited learners and teachers.
Bradlyn Stuurman from Sporting Chance, Sports Coaching and Development, was on hand to teach how the game is played. The Table Cricket sponsorship includes four weeks' of coaching by Sporting Chance as it is essential that the teachers, sports coaches and occupational therapists from the schools receiving the Table Cricket are empowered to make full use of the game and its benefits.
Principal Paulse said that the game of Table Cricket is ideal, in that it is fully inclusive and children in wheelchairs and those with Haemophilia can take part – no child is left behind.
“We do not have a sports field here. This donation means so much to us as our children will be able to be a part of a sport and learn while having fun. This will assist with perceptual skills and eye-hand coordination, and those who struggle academically will have the opportunity to excel,” she said.
Hannalie Greyling, General Manager of the Alphen Boutique Hotel, said of their sponsorship: “We are delighted to be involved with the school and to make a difference in the lives of these young children.
Taking responsibility for the environment and local community has always been an important part of The Kove Collection’s commitment to sustainable development, and we hope to continue working with St Joseph’s school in the future,” she said.
Lord's Taverners Ambassadors Robin Jackman, who is a former England cricketer and well-known commentator, and Jeremy Fredericks, former teacher and now sports administrator and broadcaster, were there to impart their knowledge, share the joy of the game and be a part of the festivities, as well as Lord's Taverners CEO David Ralph and Chairman Ian Kilbride from Warwick Wealth, who sponsor the Lord's Taverners.
Lord's Taverners started in the UK with the sole purpose of raising money to give children with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds a sporting chance. Millions of pounds have been raised over the years, and the Lord's Taverners South Africa was launched in 2016.
There are now 19 schools across the country playing Table Cricket, with seven in the Western Cape. There are plans to run inter-schools matches and inter-provincial competitions.
Lord's Taverners Chairperson Ian Kilbride said: “We have witnessed the huge impact this Table Cricket programme has on young people who may otherwise not be a part of a sports programme. We are hoping to roll out as many Table Cricket tables as possible to the many schools in need that we have identified across South Africa. We rely heavily on donations to make this possible, and have found that the option of sponsoring one school works very well for companies wishing to make a difference in their communities."
A R 10 000 donation covers the cost of the table and the coaching to learn the game. If you are interested in sponsoring a school or getting involved with the Lord’s Taverners Table Cricket initiative, please contact David Ralph by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.