AN initiative to encourage young disabled people to play cricket has got off to a strong start in Somerset.

Super 1s, a national disability cricket programme set up by the Lord’s Taverners, are hour-long, weekly sessions for young people with disabilities aged between 12 and 25.

WATCH: Super 1s in action...

This year, they have launched in Somerset and are currently run in four hubs in the county – Taunton, Bridgwater, Yeovil and Bath.

The Taunton sessions take place at 6pm on Wednesday evenings and this week’s session attracted a good turnout with smiles on faces throughout.

The sessions, run by the Somerset Cricket Board, are not just cricket – they include fun warm-ups and general sporting activities with enjoyment paramount throughout.

Lord’s Taverners disability cricket project manager Mark Bond, a former England Visually Impaired cricketer, was at Bridgwater & Taunton College's Taunton site on Wednesday to see the session in action.

Bond said: “It means young people can benefit not just from playing cricket but also from all the other stuff you get from playing sport – confidence, leadership skills, independence and communication skills.

“We have been up and running in Somerset since January and we have close to 60 people taking part each week.

“We are making a good impact in the lives of the young people we work with, which is the main thing.

“It gives you far more than paying cricket. It is a chance to make friends, meet new people and learn new things. In terms of volunteering it is also a great thing to be involved in.”

Somerset Cricket Board community coach Andrew Skidmore added: “It has gone really well. You never know how things like this will go but we ended up with 14 or 15 [in Taunton] straight away.

“Those who take part are very kind with each other and welcome each other, no matter how much people have played before, so there is a real mix.

“Those that come down seem to enjoy it.

“The confidence is one of the main things we look at. If that goes up, they relax and are more likely to push themselves and skills will go up.

“We can do more as confidence goes up and people become confident in games and skills.

“What we like to say is ‘come and try’. The ones that have come down and tried it tend to have stayed.

“If people are interested, just come down – we can have a chat before it starts or people can watch a session and then come along next week.”

Plenty more is planned through the 'Super1s' initiative, including the opportunity to play on the outfield at the Cooper Associates County Ground in April.

For more information on the sessions or how to get involved, contact