Sussex cricketer Alfie Pyle delivers coaching session for scheme which helped him become a world first
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Not only has he played for the Sussex D40 team – where he hit a brilliant 162 this season – and England, he has picked up a number of awards including Rising Star Award at the Variety Club Disability Sports Awards, Sports Person of the Year at the Crawley Community Awards and most recently the Lord's Taverners Disability Cricketer of the Year Award at the annual Cricket Writers' Club awards.
And by playing for England, he became a world first – the first Super 1s participant to play for England. Super 1s is a Lord’s Taverners initiative and gives young people with a disability aged 12-25 the chance to play regular, competitive cricket. Community cricket hubs allow participants the chance to receive coaching, compete against their peers and enjoy the benefits of playing sport.
Alfie was bullied throughout his time at secondary school, which hugely knocked his self-esteem and confidence. He found it hard to build relationships and struggled to make friends at school, often finding himself alone throughout the school day. However, with support and the discovery of Super 1s in Crawley during 2019 that all began to change.
And last week Alfie, who lives with a speech disorder and a learning disability, delivered a Super 1s coaching session at K2 Leisure Centre, organised by Sussex Cricket and Lord’s Taverners.
Alfie, who’s cricketing heroes are Andrew Flintoff and Joe Root, said: "I am so happy that I'm doing the Lord's Taverners (Super 1s coaching). People are going to be looking up at me doing coaching. They'll want to be a coach like me, and I'm so happy that I'm coaching kids. I enjoying coaching those who are struggling and I hope they get to be like me and have a chance to play for England.
"I want to see the kids grow up watch them play cricket in the future.”
The coaching saw Alfie lead the warm-up before doing fielding, batting and bowling exercises before big game at the end of the session.
Alfie grew up playing for Ifield Cricket Club before making the move to Three Bridges. He said: “Three Bridges are a good club. It was good at Ifield but now I am at Three Bridges and they want me to progress in the future and I want to push for the first team.”
And after a magnificent 2023, what does Alfie want to achieve next? “I want to push for England and Sussex first team. I want to be a first team player.”