Accessible (Cage) Cricket

Cage Cricket:

What is Cage Cricket?

Cage cricket is a unique version of cricket which can be played by just about anyone, but which enables people with a range of disabilities visible and not visible, such as dementia and autism, to play. 

Developed from a game he played growing up in Somerstown in Portsmouth, Trevor McArdle formulated a set of rules, created a completely democratic play sequence and designed a portable set of equipment and launched the game Cage4All. Cage is a game for six players who play individually, but there is social interaction built in through the way the game is run. Over the past decade Trevor has adapted the basic game to enable disabled people to play, has worked with Prisons, used it for team building and has found it incredibly successful for those living with Autism. On meeting Jane Ward from Dementia Friendly Hampshire at one of Hampshire Cricket’s Memory Days a plan was developed to explore how the game would work with people living with dementia.

When considering how to support people affected by dementia to live well Social isolation for both the person with dementia and their carers is of concern, but opportunities for activities, especially for those providing physical exercise is still quite limited, particularly if they have mobility issues and as the condition progresses.

When Cage4All has been used with youngsters with autism a buddy system is used to support then to play. This works well for people living with dementia, and they really enjoy the one on one time they have with their buddies. Many of the adaptations used for disabled players have also been used in our Dementia Accessible games with sessions running in Farnham and Bransgore over the past couple of years.

Cage Cricket and Young Onset Dementia:

The majority of people with dementia are elderly, however the term ‘young onset dementia’ (YoD) refers to people diagnosed with a dementia under the age of 65 and it affects, approximately 1200 people in Hampshire. When a person is diagnosed with YoD the impact on their lives is much greater than for those diagnosed later. They and their partners are very likely to still be in full time employment. They often have dependent children and possibly dependent parents too; dependent perhaps both financially and for care.  Many will have significant financial commitments including mortgages. If their diagnosis results in them leaving work, in addition to financial concerns, they will lose independence, self-worth, purpose in life and social relationships with colleagues.

They are more likely to be fit and active and will have had hopes, dreams and ambitions to fulfil up to and beyond their retirement. These additional factors which impact on their lives can create feelings of loss, guilt and anger. The whole family must adjust to a wide range of changes causing very significant distress and burden. There are very few support services tailored specifically for those with YoD, rather signposting tends to be to generic dementia support services with activities for older people which fail to provide the required.

Where are there accessible Cage cricket sessions?


Sessions take place from 12pm to 1pm every Thursday at Farnham Leisure Centre, costing £3 per player. Come along to Farnham Leisure Centre to learn more, watch and join in!


Cage cricket and ping pong at Bransgore Recreation ground on 1st and 3rd Monday each month, 2pm to 3pm call Sue on 7775 908330 for more information


Dementia Friendly Hampshire and Cage4All were successful in gaining Innovation Funding from Winchester City Council to bring Cage Cricket to Winchester last year and they have partnered with Places for People at Riverside Park Leisure Centre and Dementia Friendly Winchester to bring regular sessions to the leisure centre on Wednesday mornings.

Melissa Fletcher, Winchester City Council’s Funding and Development Officer said:

“Cage Cricket is a great example of how a council grant can benefit the more vulnerable members of our society. Providing opportunities such as this are good for health and wellbeing and promote social inclusion. We are proud to have been able to help bring this activity to Winchester” 

‘It is wonderful to see how much enjoyment players with dementia can get from Cage, for the hour of the session they are fully engaged and getting very valuable exercise, they are back to doing something normal, having fun with mates, but also getting the exercise they so badly need’, Jane Ward, Dementia Friendly Hampshire.

One of our participants, who has Young Onset Dementia, is supported by his father in law, a gentleman in his late 70s, his mobility isn’t perfect, but he is able to enjoy the game and better, spend time doing something relatively normal with his son in law, which can be difficult to achieve when coping with dementia.

During a recent school holiday three teenagers looking for an activity at the leisure centre were invited to join the accessible session, they joined the regular participants and had a wonderful hour’s play despite an age range in players from 13 to 79 and the presence of dementia.

‘Cage Cricket has helped the participants engage in sport and has created a competitive but social atmosphere, something that is so important to people living with Dementia. This game is breaking down barriers to inclusive sport and I look forward to watching it grow,’ Kaye Noble Sports Manager at River Park Leisure Centre

Cage cricket sessions take place at River Park Leisure Centre on Wednesday mornings at 10.30am.


Dementia Friendly Hampshire partnering with Dementia Friendly Havant have secured funding through a Councillor Grant from Cllr Jackie Bransom for a Cage set within Havant Borough. We are currently exploring options for running sessions within Havant. Do get in touch if you are interested either in partnering with us to run sessions, to provide us with a venue or to play;

What next?

Cage4all, Dementia Friendly Hampshire and Places for People are working together to roll Cage out to other areas in Hampshire.

Dementia Friendly Hampshire is also working with other partners to bring Cage to other areas, but would love to find more opportunities to bring this game to other communities.

Please get in touch if you would be interested in partnering with us, or if you are keen to play;



Dementia Friendly Hampshire

c/o Community First Wessex,
13 City Road
SO23 8SD

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