u3a - Bowled over by U3A Walking Cricket

Photo of Barnsley U3A and Doncaster U3A Walking Cricket teams 

The first inter group Walking Cricket match between Barnsley U3A and Doncaster U3A is taking place with one player marking the occasion by celebrating his 92nd birthday.

Eric Wood - 92 on Wednesday (10th July) - will celebrate his birthday at Dodworth Miners Welfare club in Barnsley – it’s the first ever Walking Cricket match in Yorkshire.

U3A Walking Cricket – which includes both men and women cricketers playing in mixed teams - is being developed by Barnsley U3A member, Mac McKechnie who at the beginning of the year decided to set up the first ever Walking Cricket group in cricket-loving Yorkshire.

Walking Cricket is just like the real thing except you aren’t allowed to run and the ball is softer.

The growth of walking sport is enabling third agers to get back to playing the sport they love. Walking sport is exploding in popularity in U3A with other groups like Walking Football, Walking Netball and Walking Rugby springing up in U3As all over the country.

Mac, 69, from Barnsley is a National U3A Subject Adviser on Walking Cricket, has helped other U3As to set up similar groups across the country.

Mac said, “It has just taken off and our U3A men and women love it. We now play every week. One of Barnsley U3A members who had modestly said she didn’t know much about cricket, then told me she had learnt to play the sport with former England Captain, the late Rachel Heyhoe Flint when they were at college together.”

Mac’s hard work has attracted interest and support from Community Twenty20 Cricket, the Yorkshire Country Cricket board and its charitable arm, Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF). 

Mac added “Back in my younger days I played league level cricket and as with many people, I got older and thought my cricket playing days were over for good. But now I can play again. It is the best feeling in the world to hit a good ball. The cricket pitch is filled with comradery, team spirit, fun and laugher. People are back playing the sport they really enjoy”.

Happy Birthday Eric!

To find out more https://www.u3a.org.uk/resources/subjects/464-walking-cricket-2