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Hitting sixes for inclusion

PEOPLE with a range of disabilities were given the opportunity to roll the arm over and have a hit with the cricket bat during the reinvented Inclusive Community Cricket come and try day.

Inclusive Community Cricket is a program run by Inclusive Innovations Tasmania to bring together people with a disability and give them the opportunity to play cricket.

Inclusive Innovations Tasmania director of strategy and programs Jason Schmidt said the program was a reinvention of the Hurricanes Inclusion Cup that had been running for the past couple of years.

“What we’re doing here is making disability options available in the mainstream atmosphere,” he said.

“These programs are so important because these guys get left out a lot of the time, so at Inclusive Innovations we’re trying to open doors and develop those mainstream opportunities for people who wouldn’t normally have it.”

The come and try day for the Inclusive Community Cricket was held at Blundstone Arena with participants from various disability services including Nexus, Mosaic, Life Without Barriers and Possability.

“The aim of the program is to give these guys an opportunity to play cricket, to have fun, make friends, be healthy, develop new skills and give them an opportunity they never would have had before,” Mr Schmidt said.

“This is the purest form of cricket I’ve ever seen – there’s no ego, it’s joy, it’s happiness and it’s fun.”

The program includes a number of pathways including the Lord’s Taverners North versus South challenge and a round robin competition between the disability services.

Nexus client Nadan Hall participated in the Hurricanes Inclusion Cup last year and was excited for the opportunity to play cricket again.

“You get to meet new people and have fun – that’s what sport’s generally about,” Nadan said.

“It provides you with the opportunity to play a game of cricket, to train to get better and have fun.”

Nadan represented the south in the North versus South challenge last season, just missing out on getting in the state team, but this year he is determined to go one step further.

Caption: From left, Inclusive Community Cricket coach Taylah Purton, Christopher Arnold, Brendan, Ruby Tatnell, Nadan Hall, Matthew Hill and Inclusive Innovations Tasmania director of strategy and programs Jason Schmidt.