Hi my name is Oliver; I am a cricket player and a kayak paddler from Kelvedon, Braintree. I have a genetic condition that has left me with learning difficulties and dyspraxia as well as challenges fully understanding what people say to me or what I read.
I started playing cricket in 2005 for my local club. As the years progressed I didn’t get many chances to play in matches even though I was always available to play. In December 2015, I went for a trial for the Essex disability Super 9’s cricket team where I was told I had potential so I kept going to every training session. As it got closer to the season I got picked for the team, also known as ‘the Incrediball team’. At the end of the season I had established myself as one of the bowlers and bowled a good number of overs during the semi-final against Somerset, which we won.
I also started Kayaking in April 2015. I initially thought I would not be able to go into a fast kayak because of my balance but I ended up paddling in a stability 5 boat which is quite unstable. I have since paddled a marathon consisting of 14 miles and 11 locks which involves me getting out one side of the lock and then either walking or running to get in the other side. I also competed in a number of two-person kayak races where we have finished in the top 3.
I would like to help people like me who never got a chance to play their favourite sport or those who have been separated because of a disability. I would like to also give back to the people who helped me get inspired by in turn inspiring other people to enjoy sport.