WALKING cricket is bowling into action in Rotherham this summer as part of a brand new initiative.
Rotherham U3A, which provides activities for retired people, wants to set up a walking cricket team in partnership with the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, the community arm of Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
The fast growing sport was introduced to the U3A Yorkshire region by an enthusiast called Mac Mckechnie, who is now the U3A national advisor for walking cricket.
Two weeks ago Mac invited representatives from Rotherham U3A to watch the Barnsley U3A team playing a game.
“You could say that we were “bowled over”, said Patricia Macredie, trustee and publicity officer Rotherham U3A.
“Walking cricket is the sport we love, just played at a slower pace so it's perfect for people who are older or less physically able but still want to enjoy the thrill of the game.”
With Mac's help and that of Kendal James, participation manager for YCF, Rotherham U3A have now set up a first meeting at Rotherham Leisure Complex on Thursday, March 26 (10.30am) for those interested.
Patricia added: “Walking sports are versions of games like football, cricket, or hockey that follow standard game rules but where players walk instead of run.
“They provide the fun of the game without the strenuous pace and intense contact, which is perfect if you’re not as sprightly as you used to be. Even so, they’re no 'walk in the park'.
“Keeping up with your opponents and their stop-start nature challenges both mind and body.
“Whether you're batting, bowling, or fielding, it's a great form of cardio exercise. Plus it improves both agility and hand-eye coordination. It's a very good social sport too, filled with team spirit and fun.”
The Rotherham U3A would like to hear from men and women interested in joining in for forming a team.
A team consists of six to eight players (three to four pairs). The game is played at walking pace, including the “runs” and fielding, and a match lasts about two hours. A soft ball is used and it is a year-round activity.
Those attending the get-together in March should wear trainers or footwear suitable for a sports hall and appropriate comfortable clothing.
For more information contact Kendal James on 01132 033 616 or email Kendal.James@yorkshireccc.com