Sussex CC host blind cricket session for veterans and Southern Rail

20 November 2014 14:05

A cricket match between a team of veterans representing Blind Veterans UK and Southern Rail was hosted by Sussex Cricket Club through the Sussex Cricket in the Community programme last week.

Blind Veterans UK, were invited to take part in the blind cricket session on Wednesday (12/11) at Sussex County Cricket Club as well as being taken for an audio tour of the Sussex County Cricket Museum.

The session was led by Toby Collins a star player for the very successful Sussex Sharks Visually-Impaired Cricket team.

Bob Thirtle, a vision-impaired veteran who receives help at our Brighton centre and who took part in the day's activities, said: "It was great to get a chance to learn more about blind cricket from the guys at Sussex. 

"It's a brilliant game and the team from Southern Rail proved that anyone can play, although they weren't as good as us!

"Being able to learn new sports has been one of the best things about the support I've received from Blind Veterans UK.  They've helped me improve my fitness as well as giving me an outlet for my competitive edge."

Sarah Evans, CSR & Partnership Manager at Southern Rail, said: "Southern employees had a fantastic day at Sussex County Cricket Club with members of Blind Veterans UK learning how to play Blind Cricket - not only was it great fun meeting the veterans and hearing their stories and jokes, it was also an important reminder of the everyday challenges of being visually impaired."

Faye Russell of Sussex Cricket in the Community added: "Sussex Cricket in the Community were delighted to work with Southern Rail staff and members from Blind Veterans UK, who were taught to play blind cricket by one of our Sussex Sharks Visually Impaired Team players, Toby Collins.

"Simulation glasses were provided for Southern staff and it was great to see everyone get involved and have a go.

"The players from Blind Veterans UK also visited the Sussex Cricket Museum and it was great to hear some of their stories inspired by memories of cricket and the war memorial display present in the museum."

Blind cricket is played with the same rules as those in the standard game with some minor modifications. The main difference is that the ball is much larger than a standard cricket ball and filled with ball bearings. The larger size allows partially sighted players to better see the ball and the ball bearings allow blind players to hear it.

To find out more about how Blind Veterans UK helps veterans discover life beyond sight loss, visit the the how we help page on our website: Or if you know someone who served in the Armed Forces or National Service who now suffers with sight loss from any reason visit or call 0800 389 7979.