Never gonna see the world in the same way again

History was made by the UK’s First All Female Visually Impaired (VI) cricket team following their groundbreaking tour to South east Asia at the end of last month. After 4yrs of development and dedication, from team coach Beth Evans , the 11 members of the UK team plus their support staff headed out Nepal to play in their first international match. It was also the first time that the Nepal team (founders of world’s very first female VI team) had played against a team from another country.

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The girls visiting a Blind School in Pokhara, Nepal

For the young women on the UK team this was about more than cricket. For all of them it was a positive life changing trip. Most of the team had not really been too far away from their family and friends in the UK, let alone visit another country over four and half thousand miles away! The tour gave them the opportunity to develop new higher levels of independence, self-confidence and self esteem.  Being part of the team, and now a touring team, has given them a chance to build new friendships and pillars of support for each other.

The tour also allowed the team the chance to mix and interact with young people from a different culture and background. With this in mind the team visited, along with The President of The Blind Cricket Association, a school for the visually impaired in Pokhara. Here they met some of the female students to talk about the school and blind cricket.

The team eventually headed back to Kathmandu to prepare for the 3 international matches against their Nepalese counterparts.  The host country gave the UK team a wonderfully warm welcome as both teams were excited about making history in this first ever all female VI international.

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UK VI Cricket Team in Action in Nepal – 2014

After their last match both teams were invited to a special reception hosted by the UK Ambassador, Andrew Sparkes, at the British Embassy in Kathmandu.  The Chief of Communications at UNICEF, Nepal, John Brittain who was a guest at the matches said,

“I hope that this great achievement will take not just blind cricket to higher heights in the country (Nepal), but also inspire other people, especially children with various other disabilities to take up sports as a means of self-expression as well as self-empowerment.”

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UK and Nepal Teams – World’s 1st All Female VI International – 2014

As has been said the trip was life changing for many. Here are just a few thoughts from some of the UK team members:

“Thank you for teaching us the sky is not the limit… especially if you are reaching for the stars,”

“Just back from an absolutely amazing and life changing trip to Nepal! Never gonna see the world in the same way again! Made me more determined than ever! Let’s go ladies let’s go!! We are going to do amazing things!!!!”

“Couldn’t be more proud to be a part of such a fantastic team. This trip has changed me as an individual and appreciative of the things I have… Thank you… for a once in a lifetime opportunity and for believing in my abilities.”

In addition to making a great difference to the participants this historical tour has led to the creation of a women’s blind cricket team in Pakistan and many other countries, including Australia, looking at developing female blind cricket.
Coach Beth Evans sent READY
a massive thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting our recent tour to Nepal. It was truly ground-breaking and life changing for so many of us on the trip and without the support from READY it would not have been possible”.

The tour was supported by: READY Charity plus England & Wales Cricket Board, The Brian Johnston Memorial Fund, The Primary Club, the VICTA charity and MetroVI Sports. The Ch

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