I do so like it when students are proactive.  So when Priyanka Patel, co-President of CUCC, got in touch asking for a PowerHouseGames, I was delighted.  Especially since we had missed the 2021 version.  However with a pre-season cricket tour planned and schools not mixing before the February half term there really was little time to fit one in.

So well played Priyanka and Alex Laybourne (my very able deputy) for arranging the morning in just 10 days!

We were joined by St Faith’s and King’s College Schools, and our friends from Castle Special School.  But it wasn’t the usual class of PE students from Castle but an ordinary class.  Although only ten were able to attend – illness and other things are likely to reduce numbers at this time of year – we were able to request volunteers from the gym session that the University Sports Centre is enabling on a Monday morning!  A big thanks to Nick Brooking of the Centre and to Kevin Martin at Castle for creating these sessions and providing us with some reserves!

We deliberately focussed on cricket, adding table and kwik cricket, to our usual repertoire of boccia, new age kurling, goalball and sitting netball. 

A big thank you to Ed Hyde, who came to help out and lead the kwik cricket.  I loved the way both teams in each pairing learned how best to include the less able players, including dropping the ball in front of a player rather than bowling it at them.

Bob Barnes of Cambridge Lakes Golf Course – well worth a visit! – looked after table cricket, which was remarkably competitive, regardless of the small balls and tiny bats!  Steve Shaw ably led the sitting netball and Tom Roper was not fazed by wearing pink and joining a team.  But the volunteer star was Rosie, Paula and Mark Slater’s dog, who helped calm a number of anxious children as they came into the hall.  A marvellous recruit!

It was wonderful to see the teams bonding and how they developed. Communication is key in so many of our games, and so there was a great opportunity for all to practice their listening skills: especially in goalball.

Nick Batchelor of King’s was really pleased as he had brought some of the less sporty children, who saw the benefits of just playing and having fun with sports.  He is very keen they come again.

The university cricketers were so pleased they were immediately on about securing a date in a year’s time!  Let’s hope we can be back to normal and be able to plan that far ahead with confidence.  Because everyone involved lived up to both our number one rule – “To have Fun!” – and our tagline, “No one left on the Bench!”

Inspired? Then Get Involved!

Would your university sports team, or school love to be involved in a PowerHouseGames? Could your company support our mission by volunteering at one of our PowerHouseGames? If so, then we would love to hear from you. We are also always looking out for people willing to fundraise for Power2Inspire through their own inspiring means. Or, you could volunteer individually at one of our events, or you could give to the ongoing work of Power2Inspire. There are SO MANY WAYS we can all help to ensure “no on else is left on the bench!” Click the button here to find out more.

John Willis

Founder & Chief Ambassador, Power2Inspire