Autism Association going in to bat for WA kids

Tim Middlemas (7), of South Perth, with Autism in Cricket project officer Scott Henry at the Wembley Districts Junior Cricket Club grounds. Photo: David Baylis
Tim Middlemas (7), of South Perth, with Autism in Cricket project officer Scott Henry at the Wembley Districts Junior Cricket Club grounds. Photo: David Baylis

A WEMBLEY cricket club is giving Tim Middlemas (7) the opportunity to follow in his brother’s cricketing footsteps.

The South Perth youngster signed up to Wembley Districts Junior Cricket Club’s integrated cricket team following the recent launch of Autism in Cricket, an initiative by Shenton Park-based Autism Association of WA and WA Cricket Association.

The program provides resources to clubs, coaches and parents to support people with autism to play cricket.

Tim’s mother Julie Wolseley said she was thrilled her son could play a community sport for the first time, knowing he would be supported where required, and emulate his 15-year-old brother Ben who played WACA Premier Cricket for South Perth.

“Tim is so excited to be able to play community cricket and in his words he cannot wait to meet lots of new cricketing friends and hopefully hit a six sometime during the season,” she said.

“Tim is hoping he can follow in his brother’s footsteps and have just as much fun.”

Tim Middlemas (7). Photo: David Baylis

Association therapy and clinical services director Tasha Alach said 65 children had signed up since the initiative launched three months ago, with the majority registered to play at Wembley.

“A lot of the families never though of cricket as a sport (for their child),” she said.

“We’re targeting cricket as kids with autism like routine, predictability and are visual…the sport matches their strengths.”

Wembley’s junior and senior integrated teams are open to people with physical or intellectual disabilities, but the initiative means there is specialised support available for people with autism.

Call club president Margie Oldfield on 0416 025 724 or visit the Autism in Cricket website.

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