July 23, 2024

Limpopo Novus Blind Cricket

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By Ephodia Mudau                                    

Limpopo Novus Blind Cricket (LNBC) is holding its first tournament of 2022/2023 on Saturday, August 13 at the Polokwane Cricket Club.

The aim of the tournament is to select the provincial team of about 15 players to represent the province at the national games in Durban, in October. To ensure fairness in the selection process everyone will be given an opportunity to bowl and to bat.

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In preparation for the tournament, various districts in the province were invited to take part at LNBC events on July 23 where people with visual impairment got training on how to play blind cricket and how to affiliate to LNBC. Each team in the district selected 15 people to compete in the tournament.

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LNBC during Training at University of Limpopo

LNBC is a non-profit disability sports club which is the custodian of blind cricket in the province of Limpopo. It is affiliated to Blind Cricket South Africa, whose aim is to administer, develop, and promote blind cricket in the provinces.

Blind cricket is modified to be played by blind and partially sighted people. According to Disability Info SA, “The major adaptation is the cricket ball, which is significantly larger than a standard cricket ball and filled with ball bearings. The size allows partially sighted players to see the ball and the contents allow blind players to hear it. The wicket (stumps) is also larger, to allow partially sighted players to see and blind players to touch it in order to correctly orient themselves when batting or bowling.”

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LNBC president Happy Khumalo, said that participating in sports does not only make one physically fit, but opens opportunities and strengthens relationships among people with disabilities. “Solidarity amongst people with disabilities is empowering, it also changes community mind-set and stigma they have about people with disabilities. Meeting during tournament is an opportunity to others to share challenges and solutions to problems people with disability are facing,” Khumalo said.

Kgaugelo Maepa, one of LNBC players from Sekhukhune district, believes that to achieve in sports you need to be dedicated. “I have been practicing…even when I’m alone.” He is hoping to be selected as part of the provincial team and to help LNBC to win at the interprovincial tournament.

LNBC is facing a challenge of funding as they do not have a bank account of their own which requires them to raise R30 000 to open one, said Khumalo. Shortage of training material is still a challenge as they do not have funds to purchase it, relying on equipment they got from the national team.

For more information about the tournament contact Happy Khumalo at happy.tnbc@gmail.com

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