Lois Turner, captain of the UK Women’s Visually Impaired Cricket Team is doing a tandem skydive on Sunday 18th June to raise money for the team to go on a tour to Barbados in July 2018.
The skydive will take place in Brackley in Oxfordshire and Turner is aiming to raise £1,000.
She explained the cost of the trip will be about £1,200 per player. She also revealed how she is feeling about doing her first skydive.
Turner said: “I’m so nervous but I’m taking the risk for the team. I know how much of a difference it (visually impaired cricket) has made for me. Looking at our youngest player who is 13, I mean the difference it can make to her going on a trip like this. I want all the girls to be able to get as much out of this as they can and the more we raise the more they are going to get out of it. I want them to have as much opportunity and thrive as much as they can and experience great things.”
The UK captain explained the team receives very little funding from the ECB and they are not yet officially recognised as an England team as they need to have a set up like the men’s England visually impaired team.
The women’s team went on their first ever tour to Nepal in 2015.
Turner revealed there are only a few women’s international visually impaired cricket teams and what her hopes are for the future of the women’s game.
“There’s only two other countries in the world that have a ladies visually impaired team. There’s Nepal and the West Indies. South Africa are just setting up a team as well. The aim is we’ll go and play the West Indies, it will encourage other countries to play and then hopefully we’ll get more funding and then hopefully we’ll get the equal amount and accessibility to the sport as any other sex or disability,” said Turner.
“When you look at the amount of countries that have men’s teams there’s no reason they can’t set up a women’s team. If we can raise some kind of awareness. I mean in the men’s teams there’s Australia, India, South Africa, Pakistan, New Zealand, there’s loads, so I don ‘t see why any other country shouldn’t have women within the same right to get active in a sport they like at a high level. Being able to play a high level is as important to us as it is to the men.”
The UK women’s team have regional training once a month and due to funding are only able to get together as a whole squad every other month.
Turner explained why she would encourage other visually impaired women to get involved in the game.
She said: “To start off with it’s made a big difference to my own life. Seeing the increase in the number of women in the different squads is amazing because I’m also now seeing the effect on other people and it also gives you the chance to meet other females who are visually impaired and that’s a great thing about our women’s team is our youngest is 13 and our oldest is I think in her 60s.
“It’s a great environment, they are great role models and it’s such great fun and because we’re maybe a bit more tactical, not necessarily as strong as the men but you can do just as well and that gives me some pride for some reason to be able to go yes I can do this and it helps you with so many things in everyday life independence, standing up for yourself and getting that confidence.”
You can sponsor Lois for her skydive via her Virgin Money Giving page via the following link: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=Lois.turner.U.K.womensvicricket&isTeam=true
Picture courtesy of Lois Turner, with thanks.