Australian blind team inspires the College cricketers

Eastbourne College were delighted to welcome Neil Mackay, Head Coach of the Australian Blind Cricket team.

Mr Mackay is in the UK with his team to compete in a whirlwind eight day Blind Ashes tour. This is the 20th year of the series and Australia is yet to hold the Ashes.

During his visit Mr Mackay led a training session with College’s 1st XI cricket team.

Each of the players were issued with a blindfold to simulate impaired sight and they completed a series of exercises using a specially designed ball that emits a noise when it moves.

Sam Hyne, a Sixth Form pupil said, “This was such a unique experience.

“I thoroughly enjoyed trying some of the drills that the national blind team use. It forced us all to think of cricket on a wider scale and as a game open to everyone, no matter what disability they have.”

Mr Mackay added, “I am delighted to spend some time with the College players.

“I hope that this has given the boys an appreciation that cricket can be played in many forms and that this has enabled them to experience what it is like to feel the action rather than just see the action.

“It should give them a greater awareness of what their bodies are doing. ”

Matt Banes, Master in charge of cricket at Eastbourne College, said, ‘The blindfolded session was designed to take the boys out of their comfort zone while also making them appreciate what others go through just to enjoy playing sport.

“The boys are very lucky both to be fully able physically and to train and play on such good facilities, both of which can sometimes be taken for granted.

“We are very grateful to Neil Mackay for reminding us of this.”