Leading The Way to Nepal with All Female Visually Impaired Cricket Team
Whilst on holiday in Nepal (in 2010), Beth Evans, Development Officer at The Change Foundation, was so inspired by the work being done by the Nepal Cricket Association with Visually Impaired (VI) female cricket players, that she set about setting up the UK’s first & only all female VI cricket team.
Four years on, the UK’s first all female VI team will be heading out to Nepal for a groundbreaking tour and their first ever VI International Match. The team will be on tour from the 19th to the 29th October, playing 3 matches against the female Nepal VI team. It is also the first time that a female VI team has visited Nepal to play an all female international match.
Beth (Evans) notes, “The courage of the team is blazing a trail for other disability female teams across all sports. It is important to realise the importance of female only teams, especially within disability sport which has very low levels of female participation. It is clear something needs to be done to inspire change”.
For some of the young women in the UK team this will be a life changing trip, as they will not have been too far away from their family and friends in the UK time let alone visiting another country.
Team member and Captain, Lois Turner, 17 years old, has become a role model within the team. Although one of the youngest in the team she also coaches, inspires and empowers other young people with a disability to get involved with sport. Lois excitedly says, “This tour is something that I have dreaming about for a long time it’s an opportunity of a life time. This trip is a big stepping stone for all of us as a team and as individuals. I’ve never been so excited about anything before in my whole life.”
The UK’s first all female Visually Impaired cricket team was founded in 2010 to impact the lives of young women with a visual impairment by giving them independence, self-confidence and new friendships through playing cricket together. The team consisting of young women aged 13 to 25, trains regularly at The Change Foundation’s Cricket Centre in Wallington, Surrey. They play in the (male dominated) domestic VI league and five of them carried the London 2012 Paralympic torch.
Beth Evans with some Nepal Female VI Cricketers on her trip in 2010