Welcome to Part 2 of this episode about urban sport and recreation in parks, and how they’ve grown in recent years.
First of all, I spoke to Ross Cawood, Franchise Owner of London & NZ Last Man Stands Leagues, to find out more about the successful evening cricket leagues that they provide. LMS was formed in 2005 and has become the widest reaching amateur cricket league in the world.
I then speak to Luke Thompson, GB Goalball Captain, about the rapidly growing sport of Wallball. Luke competes around Europe within the sport, having developed his skills by playing Rugby Fives and is supporting UK Wallball to introduce the sport to more schools and urban areas in the future.
Last Man Stands
Ross talks about the success of LMS and how its accessible, quick format has grown cricket in parks, how they’ve worked around busy lifestyles, and how technology helps to engage with participants [1:10]
We talk about the balance between the social and competitive elements of sport and how LMS provides for both, with rules that encourage everyone to have an opportunity to participate fully [7:40]
Luke explains how he first started playing Wallball, what the sport is and how the accessibility of the sport lends itself to urban environments [12:40]
Luke talks about how his recent success in European competitions, and UK Wallball’s plans for the sport to grow within schools and urban sites within London and across the country [17:30]
“The glue to it all is having global stats and rankings; wherever you play in the world, you can rank yourself against everyone else” [1:22]
“We identified parks not being used for cricket. For the councils and local authorities, they now see well-structured leagues, they don’t have to do a lot of work other than maintaining grounds – we do it all for them.” [4:17}
“We recently had our World Series (our World Cup) with the best players from around the world playing with each other. Our plans are to be innovative and keep improving the stats. When leagues run well, it is a fantastic product” [9:35]
“Wallball is very much a street sport. Out in New York, in the hardest areas such as the Bronx, you get wallball courts and the community comes together to play” [14:05]
“Wallball just needs a ball and a wall somewhere, you can practice on your own, play with some mates – it’s incredibly accessible for urban environments” [15:43]
“I’m up to 3rd in Europe on the singles front, which has been a long time coming, with lots of tournaments and travelling. With my doubles partner Dan Grant, we are just starting to take control of Europe! We won the Spanish Open this year and two weeks ago we won the Dutch Open” [18:08]
Last Man Stands
Register as an individual or a team – www.lastmanstands.com/join
UK Wallball – https://ukwallball.co.uk/
Facebook / Instagram
Westway Centre – 8pm – 10pm Tuesday evenings – https://www.everyoneactive.com/centre/westway-sports-fitness-centre/