A remarkable young man’s dream of playing for England’s blind cricket team has been boosted by a grant from a charitable foundation.
Jake Ternent, 21, has been selected for the England Visually Impaired Cricket Development Squad after excelling as captain with his county team. And Jake, of Ludworth, County Durham, has been bowled over after receiving a £1,000 grant from County Durham Community Foundation to help him on his way to national glory.
Jake was born with a condition called Lebers Congenital Amaurosis, which means he has virtually no sight in his right eye and limited vision in his left eye.He developed a passion for cricket as a little boy after dad Steven started taking him to Durham matches at The Riverside, but he never thought he’d get the chance to play the game at any level.Then, while attending Gosforth Academy in Newcastle, he received an email offering him the chance to attend a taster session with the Durham Viper Jets Visually Impaired Cricket Team.
He decided to give it a go and, eight years later, he is now a formidable all-rounder and proud to have been appointed club captain.
Visually-impaired cricket is played with a standard bat but slightly larger stumps and a size three football, with ball-bearings inside, so that it rattles. “I use what little sight I have, along with the sound of the ball, and I suppose the rest is down to my instincts,” explained Jake.
His ambition is to play for the England visually impaired team in the World Cup and his experience with the national development squad in Birmingham is helping him to improve his skills and confidence.“It just never occurred to me that I’d have a chance to play any sport, let alone cricket for England, so it’s fantastic,” said Jake, who is studying to become a sports coach at New College Durham.
“The grant from County Durham Community Foundation has made the world of difference because it goes towards the costs of travelling to games and training with the England Development Squad in Birmingham. I can’t thank them enough.”