Savera UK All-Stars enjoy summer cricket

At Savera UK, we host weekly Women’s Hour sessions. The 1-1 support team endeavours to be creative and come up with new ideas that will provide clients with new experiences and activities, such as our two recent cricket sessions with All Stars Cricket.

Despite a rainy and windy first session, our clients returned for a second session in much better weather a few weeks later. During school summer holidays many of our clients and their children sadly suffer from social isolation and simply do not have the disposable income to afford day trips and children’s activities and they rely on community activities such as the drop-in space to make memories. Additionally, a lot of our clients have never had the opportunity to engage in exercise and sport activities.

Sport offers a great way to bring a diverse group of people together, as well as being great for wellbeing and overall fitness. Over the course of the two sessions, our clients not only had the chance to exercise and be active, but they also made friends and improved their social skills.

Some of the children jumped straight into the games, whereas others were more reluctant at first. It was fantastic to see the kids come out of their shells, make friends and enjoy their summer holidays. Through cricket, the children learnt fundamental movements such as catching, throwing and batting. Moreover, they were able to develop their communication skills, learn about teamwork and experience what it’s like to win and lose.

Savera UK CEO Afrah Qassim plays cricket with All Stars Cricket and Savera UK clients
Savera UK CEO Afrah Qassim, pictured right, plays cricket with All Stars Cricket and Savera UK clients

Both clients and their children benefitted from the opportunity to develop their social circles, build their confidence and it was also beautiful to observe the parents and their children bonding and having fun together.  We would like to thank Pip and the team at All Stars for their time, enthusiasm and efforts to help others and create a really memorable summer activity.

Pip, from All Stars Cricket, said: “What a beautiful day we had for our second session playing cricket! Thanks to those who braved the weather in the first week, it was great to see so many come back for more.

“We practised some cricket skills, fielding, batting and bowling. Rolling and throwing the ball into the wicket keeper under the pressure of a countdown timer had everyone on their toes. There was some great enthusiasm to score the most runs in the ‘Out Of This World’ cricket game, which led to lots of smashing the ball and sprinting round the circle.

“We learned how to bowl and some developed their bowling skills from the first week. We also had an exciting game of ‘Jail Cricket’.”

‘Jail Cricket’ is when players have to hit the ball to a specified target area, to release teammates who have been ‘sent to jail’ and cannot play until they are released.

Pip continued: “A couple of the parents had to run a long way to get the ball that their kids had smashed, and we all had to take a good few steps back when the teens stepped up to bat. There were some fine batters in the group and some quick fielding players, so the batters really had to race to stay in.

“It made me laugh when two players were having a lovely time playing Rock, Paper, Scissors in the ‘jail’. There was an emotional moment when their parent managed to ‘free’ one of them by hitting the ball through the cones. There was a huge hug as they were reunited in the batting line!”

The cricket sessions were well-received by our clients and their families who are looking forward to similar sessions in the future.

One client said: “It was so amazing we were so happy to play cricket. I enjoyed visiting the place and the people there.” While another added: “We all enjoyed the inclusiveness of the game. Both little kids and adults played and it was amazing. I look forward to doing this again.”

It was heart-warming to see the clients talk to one another and build bonds of friendship. Seeing them stay long after the session had finished really showed us how valuable the drop-in sessions are and it was lovely to see some of the clients wanting to continue to play cricket at local clubs.

By Emma, Savera UK HBA support worker