Batting With One Arm | Matt Askin – No Boundaries Documentary

If you’d have asked me when I was a kid would you have fought by the time you were 24 you’d have been on two tours to play cricket for England Ollie said no because Nothing was so far off in the distance and it was so seen as something that only able-bodied people did It’s a nerve-wracking thing I think as an adult really am I gonna be able to do this So I’ve been a teacher since 2010 I teach PE and I’m also a head of household. Like I passed all the responsibilities looking after kids from year 7 to year 10 When I was training to be a PE teacher, my course mentor was concerned about my ability to demonstrate Skills, which I always kind of managed to find a way around doing because As most people with some form of disability with fairly adaptable We always tend to overcome what it is. That’s the issue But the the self-confidence to kind of put yourself out there When you know that Every single year that you come in in year 7 someone’s going to ask you about What happened there? But then it’s quite good cause you come up with stories So in my first four or five years here We had four or five different stories flying around every year going for that how I lost my arm And I had to stop one of them because actually one of the kids actually was Attacked by a shark so that wasn’t like a story you could carry on I’m finding more and more that kids now are afraid of failing and messing stuff up and I’m trying really hard to get across the message to our kids that well, especially the kids in my house that you learn by failing and accept that yeah, that’s a challenge rather than stepping away from the challenge because I wish I’d done that a little bit more as a growing up, you know and really accepting what it was and Yeah, it’s okay to get frustrated, but then don’t allow that frustration and to stop you from Going on and trying to do something a little bit different There’s times where you feel like am I doing the right thing like am I doing the right thing for for me the fact that I get to go and Representing and whether it be as a player or someone who’s in amongst the squad Supporting the rest of the teammates then like that’s the proudest thing that you do Then it becomes a question. Am I doing the right thing for my family? Am I doing my life thing for much of my Professional life and that’s where they’ve kind of that the questions come in. It’s never really a long conversation after myself It might last maybe like half an hour and then I started don’t be stupid. It’s like this is the best thing that you did My background is I was born into an RAF family. So as a child I spent most of my My formative years and moving around different parts of the country but I really enjoyed the whole process of moving and if I if I was like physically able to I would have Stayed in the forces environment. They saw the lab that I went to school with he was missing a hand as well and on the careers, they went up to the forces station and were like, so can we join and the look on like that the young like Soldiers face was like I’ll have to go and ask a senior Senior member of staff if I could and we need we knew the answer already. So we’re just kind of wart off Or Brian cream. So this is where I had my first experience of crickey as a 21 22 year old I just finished uni and I was working in within the pee department at a local school and In my first couple of weeks of working there. I got asked to go on a ski trip and the ski trip Had Darren Simmons on it. He was the husband of the treasurer of the school. So there was a tenuous link there and we just got chatting throughout the week that we were away and I was a really desperate to find a team sport and he was like Oh come and try a bit cricket and I was like cricket really it says yes I’ve never done it never played it competitively or being in a team environment for is I just come down to winning it and Give it a go It’s a nerve-wracking thing I think as an adult Trying to pick up something new. I think the main concern was right Am I really am I gonna be able to do this? Am I gonna be able to play? Well enough I was kind of stood over there doing some catching And so the Keith Miller was stood behind that fence over there and he shouted across to me Have you ever thought about playing disability cricket? And that was my first kind of insight into oh there was a different pathway into To playing cricket. I remember my first time I went to watch disability cricket that really stands out. I went to Madeley Cricket Club Shropshire were playing against Lancashire and the wiki keeper was a bloke called Dave Ingram and he was in a wheelchair and he took this dive in like genuinely this diving catch out of his wheelchair and I was like if He can play and do it that well As I got there’s nothing stopping me. So from there then I joined the disability training squad So anyone that you can hit that side but then you’ve hit that straight me wicked Now you give him no chance which trying to find a symmetry because in world cricket. Jimothy, there’s not many people who use one hand When cricket we use two hands and we’ve got two hands on the baton with top elbow You don’t have a 160s life by using one hand. He now hits it further Harder, then he dipped trying to fit in with the rest of the world my style pre 2015 was two hands on the bat Conventional kind of tried to be as conventional as I possibly could which meant that I was pretty restricted in what I could do Whereas if I Throw that off over there I get my bat back out here Which I couldn’t do in the first place which then enables me to get my bat through with more Momentum which when you’re bearing with one hand is the important thing because if it’s here and you’ve only got that little punt Regardless how strong you are you can’t hit the ball that hard so with it up here It has made my life simpler as a bat So when I first saw Matt, there was a whole new experience to me Because there’s such wonderful people and their perception of what normal is. They wanted to fit in with the rest of the world? normals boring why not be unique Why not be brilliant because chance to be unique happens very few times to play for your country Happens very few times. So I still pinching myself that this has happened even in my time And I think that we are very conscious of our own like own insecurities so individually, and I think that my own perspective of that is that a lot of us we over compensate on those things and we demonstrate a bit of bravado and a little bit more confidence than we probably actually have but in a way I think that’s Benefiting us as a side because we go out with a confidence. Actually, you know what we’re going to show what we can do and show off like regardless of the fact that I’m comfy, and I’m Struggling to balance keeping wick here. I’m still going to take mine and legs are catches or I’ll if if I’m missing a leg I’m still gonna run around the boundary dive for a ball stop there and if my leg comes off I’m still going to throw it back in We’re ordinary Everyday people who happen to have a disability Who happen to be in the top 15? disability occurs when the country you get to represent the country and but I think makes it even more special for us because it’s something that We wouldn’t have expected Personally, I’d like to remain involved in it as long as I possibly can whether it’s a player or a mentor or a coach or something just to be able to Give some grounding to those that are coming along because we don’t know where this is going to be in 10-15 years time I mean the ambition is that we’re somewhere On a part of where the women might have been five years ago or where the women might be. We don’t know We’ve come from this national squad of 15 to 20 disability cookers. You never met each other before To this organized structural Cohesive group of people that are going about trying to be the best in the world. I think that’s one miles apart

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