Over the last three years, cricket has evolved within Help for Heroes as not only a sport to aid physical recovery but as a method of developing new friendships and growing as part of a team. Over the weekend of 30th April and 1st May this was as evident as ever.
The available squad members gathered in the morning to stretch through a Pilates class lead by Physio Ann Ingate followed by liberal application of tape to support muscles ahead of the action.
With dry weather and a freshly cut outfield, the opportunity was taken to get practice done on the pitch, everyone stepped up and throughout the day bowlers ran in, batters hit out and fielders took great catches. The day revealed the winter season paying off and the confidence gained during the previous season.
As the profile of the H4H team has grown, many well-known faces from the cricketing world have been hugely supportive and on this occasion we had the honour to welcome Graeme ‘Foxy’ Fowler, former Lancashire, Durham and England batsman.
Graeme has suffered with depression since leaving the game and has taken time to write a book of his work and challenges. As the rain threatened to curtail the practice it was an ideal time to retire to the library where Graeme openly spoke for a couple of hours about how he discovered his condition and what he has done since to help himself manage it.
Graeme is pictured below presenting the book to team member Martin Hall.
Sunday came as an early start, the team travelled to Theale where a session had been arranged with internationally renowned power hitting coach Julian Wood. Julian and his family, Samantha, Kieran and ‘Dubs’ had given their time on a Sunday to host the team at the Bradfield College, where Julian is based, and provided refreshments on arrival and some excellent training methods that saw the most restrained players whacking the ball with panache!
But this is more than just about the sport, and having offered their own time Samantha had taken it to the college and arranged not only the morning session but use of a pitch for afternoon practice and a most enjoyable lunch. So not only did the players learn new skills in a magnificent environment but they made new friends and extended the touch of the H4H Cricket Family.
A big thank you to Bradfield College, Graeme Fowler, Julian Wood and his entire family. The H4H cricket team moves ever forward into its 3rd full season with a strong bond of players, coaches and ever expanding ‘family’.
If you want to get involved in cricket or any other sport with Help for Heroes, email firstname.lastname@example.org