On Sunday, April 2, around 30 Blind Low Vision NZ members, whānau, and support staff took to the pitch at the historic Basin Reserve to learn about and play blind cricket. A partnership event with Cricket Wellington, New Zealand Blind Cricket Association and Blind Sport enabled us to deliver an event welcoming all ages and abilities.
Ryan Holland, Basin Reserve venue manager, provided a history of the historic venue, including the fact a blind man helped paint the fence posts. This was followed by an opportunity to walk through and explore the New Zealand Cricket Museum. Donna McCaskill, board chair of New Zealand Blind Cricket Association and NZ representative over many years playing blind cricket, assisted with skills coaching on the day. “The key to blind cricket is communication,” Donna explained. “Before someone bowls, they must ask the batsman if they are ready. If the answer is okay, the bowler must say the word ‘play’ before rolling the ball”
Players broke into groups to practise batting and bowling with assistance from members of the Blind Caps, NZ’s blind cricket team, and cheers from onlookers.
Some of the key aspects of Blind cricket include:
- The cricket balls have bells in them so players can hear them as they are rolled on the ground.
- Bowling is done under arm, and the wickets are metal so players can hear the ball when it strikes the wickets.
- Batting is done along the ground instead of hitting the ball in the air.
Sunday cricket was our final event in a series of events and activities across April 1 and 2nd April. D-Sport holds a goalball session every Saturday from 9 am-11 am, based at Wellington East Girls’ College Sports Centre that we participated in, and with support from Zealandia, we were able to take through a group of 25 members from the Blind Low Vision community, many of whom were visiting Zealandia for the first time.
Saturday evening ended with the open invitation for members to join us for dinner at the Southern Cross Restaurant and Bar on Abel Smith Street. A chance to talk about the day’s activities and meet community members we might otherwise not have met in other settings.
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