Today, Lucy visited St Georges Cricket Club in Telford, where she met local umpire and disability campaigner, John McIntear and the Secretary of St Georges Cricket Club.
Lucy recently led a debate in Parliament to encourage more disabled officials, referees and umpires into sport and to shine a light on John’s campaign. The debate was responded to by the Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston MP. Lucy paid tribute to John for his campaign to encourage involvement of disabled individuals in cricket.
John was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2018, but raised the money for his own powered wheelchair through crowdfunding and support from the royal British Legion. Prior to his diagnosis, John was a qualified umpire and was determined that his diagnosis would not stop him continuing to umpire from his powered wheelchair. He now aims to work with organisations to secure the provision of powered and suitably modified wheelchairs to enable those with mobility impairments to officiate in sports.
John plans to hold an official launch for his campaign, Sports Officiating from a Powered Wheelchair (SOPW), later this July at St George’s Cricket Club. St Georges is a local champion club of disabled sports, being the only club in Shropshire to have been recognised as a "Disability Cricket Champion Club" by the English Cricket Board.
Commenting, Lucy Allan MP said:
"I am so pleased to support John McIntear's campaign and his work to encourage those with mobility needs to follow their passions and officiate in sports.
I have urged Ministers to support John's campaign, by encouraging sporting bodies to engage and consider how they can train people with disabilities to become referees, umpires and officials of all kinds, and how they can create opportunities for participation.
The launch of the Sports Officiating from a Powered Wheelchair campaign will provide the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of this important issue and I look forward to attending."
Further details on the St. Georges Cricket Club can be found on their website: http://www.stgeorgescc.org.uk/.