This is Memphis! On the outside, although a little small for his age, Memphis looks just like any other child growing up around the area who is picking up a cricket bat for the first time.
Memphis’ story is not like most other kids. Memphis Ware is six (6) years old and has Austism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Along with that and other health issues, Memphis is homeschooled and his family enjoy opportunities to engage with others.
Memphis, since beginning home schooling, has come leaps and bounds with ever increasing concentration and expanding his knowledge through his unique learning situation, excursions, and the support of specialised and trained professionals.
There is strong emphasis on the development of his gross and fine motor skills as well as his social and emotional development.
Memphis has recently shown an interest in the game of cricket.
After meeting with Memphis, and his mother, and seeing the excitement in his face, the idea of doing some cricket in a specialised one-on-one environment was a no-brainer situation for Brendon McCoy, the newly appointed President of the Yarrabilba Cricket Association.
Through the generosity of a member from the local Yarrabilba Community who had a plastic Wahu cricket set they, nor their kids, played with Brendon travelled to Edens Landing where the family resides. An excited Memphis ripped open the cricket set and immediately put it together before heading to the front door ready to start his cricket lessons.
The session lasted approximately 20 minutes. Memphis has difficultly maintaining and regulating his body temperature, and this can make it difficult for him to participate in longer periods of physical activity. Being able to adapt to his specific needs meant that Memphis was able to participate comfortably and be included.
The session was a positive one with Memphis learning basic catching skills and as seen in the action shot had the ability to hit the cricket ball. Simple ball skills, such as throwing and catching, are beneficial in the development of hand eye co-ordination, stabilising his core and overall gross motor skills in order to help him perform every day functions and sporting skills.
Sessions with Memphis will continue to be modified as he learns the game of cricket, and Cricket Yarrabilba adapt to his needs, medical conditions and focus levels.
Memphis is a bright young boy, and it is as exciting for us to work with him to be able to play a sport he is showing interest in and enjoying and that he normally only plays with the family.
For Cricket Yarrabilba Memphis is a true testament that cricket is a sport for all abilities, and that there are many alternatives to teaching the basics to the game of cricket in a way that is inclusive and understanding.
Memphis will also form the base to our specialised one-on-one or small groups coaching. His situation is far from unique however, Cricket Yarrabilba will strive to ensure all coaches have the ability to learn and develop their skills to adapt to kids with various special needs.
The generosity of the Yarrabilba Community, providing cricket equipment they no longer required to our association has also played a key role in making this opportunity happen.