Yeovil cricketer Connor Hyde was acknowledged for his achievements within disability cricket and the Super 1s programme with a Lord’s Taverners Inspire Award presented at The Oval.
The 25-year-old was born with cerebral palsy and epilepsy and could not walk for the first three years of his life.
But now the cricket fanatic is more active than ever and fits in long-distance running alongside his busy cricket coaching and personal training schedule.
The Super 1s is a national programme that gives young people with a disability the chance to play regular competitive cricket while improving their confidence and independence.
He was presented with the surprise award by Chris Woakes, who was speaking at a celebration evening for the programme’s success over the past 12 months.
Hyde thought he was going to The Oval to watch a cricket match and was overwhelmed when comedian Adam Hills announced him as a recipient of the Inspire Award.
He said: “I didn’t even think I was going to get the award; I thought I was coming to watch a cricket match, mom just said to make sure I bring my suit.
“I think cricket has saved my life, I wasn’t as social with people because I was a bit scared that people would think I shouldn’t be involved in a cricket match, and I proved a lot of people wrong.
“Lord’s Taverners are doing an amazing job; I really respect them and what they do for young people, and they’ve helped me so much as well.
“If I didn’t have cricket, I don’t think I would be as happy, and I can’t say thank you enough.”
Super 1s is supported by the Berkeley Foundation, who are continuing their partnership of the life-changing national disability cricket programme for another three years.
The free and inclusive cricket programme is now being delivered in every English county, Scotland, and Wales.
The sky is the limit for Hyde who is targeting another coaching qualification as he looks to inspire anyone with a disability to get active.
He said: “It’s really motivating, sometimes I think of coaching and training as not actual work because I really enjoy what I’m doing, I just care about other people enjoying it.
“At the moment one of my goals is to pass my level two cricket course, that means I can go into one-to-one coaching with people and set up over 50s cricket on my own.
“Hopefully, I’ll become a level two and in a couple of years I might do level three and come back here as a manager.
“Don’t let anyone say you can’t do something, I don’t believe in that at all, I show people that I can do stuff.”
For more information about Super 1s, please visit https://www.lordstaverners.org/super1s