Hampshire Cricket History

Cricket Matters
June 18, 2016, 12:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Cage Dementia (1)

To all of us, of course it does, and sometimes we get passionate about stuff. I got really mad when we lost that game v Essex a couple of weeks back but it’s gone and soon enough another match arrives.

Yesterday morning/lunchtime I spent some time in Eastleigh with the Cage Cricket guys, some young researchers from Bournemouth and Southampton University, local dementia volunteers and crucially a small group of elderly men with advanced dementia. We were trying out the game with them to see whether they could engage with it. They could, and it was quite remarkable to see these guys, who on arrival looked to me disconnected from everything, really enjoying themselves, smiling & laughing as they hit the ball, bowled (in the 18th century Hambledon style) and fielded.

The man batting (above) could hardly move but somehow with that bat, managed to hit things while the bowler who had a really cheeky smile, knew about holding the ball along and across the seam and even imparted some spin. Out-of-picture, (another) Dave was in a wheelchair but managed to bat and bowl and by the end we’d figured he needed a special implement to allow him to reach the ball while fielding.

In the feedback, they were keen to play again and Dave asked if he might play with his son because, he said, “I never play with my son now”. Despite the forecast, the rain stayed away – and quite right too!


5 Comments so far
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After the emotions of last night, I think that this puts things into perspective.

Comment by John West

Thanks John

Comment by pompeypop

Very interesting. We are I`m sure aware of the effectiveness of music for dementia sufferers but maybe you`ve opened a new can of alternative possibilities. You know too well that I am involved in the disability side of cricket ( both mental and physical ) having bought cage kits and table top kits for relevant organisations, however, these have predominantly been aimed at people the other end of the age scale.
A forthcoming project I have been discussing involves a table top form of the game being introduced into elderly care homes and perhaps this adds to further the activities for the age and ability groups we are worryingly heading towards !

Comment by Brian.JS

The projects Brian is referring to are all supported by the Portsmouth Area Supporters of Hampshire Cricket. Brian and his wife Linda do sterling work keeping that group going when most of the other area groups have disappeared and they raise significant sums for equipment and also organise important events for all kinds of people who have problems with engaging in the ‘mainstream’ form of the game. It’s now a long-running and really excellent initiative.

Comment by pompeypop

A couple of additional thoughts. I keep in touch with former Hampshire cricketers and hardly ever come across a case of dementia even among the 100/90/80 year-olds. The one exception I’m aware of was also a pro footballer and footballers do seem to suffer more because of heading?). I have a similar experience with music. Apart from all the famous 70+ year olds still out there gigging, I run a project in Pompey about local music history and there are lots of guys out there a good bit older than me still gigging and apparently fine. As for me, to quote the Goons “I’m as sane as the next man” (sadly Bluebottle was the next man). If that bit baffles you, you’re just too young!

Comment by Dave Allen

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