Inspirational woman recognised as role model for people with disabilities
- Credit: Lord's Taverners
A young woman recognised for being a role model in a disability cricket programme says she hopes she can inspire others to reach their potential.
Georgie Hart, who has cerebral palsy, participates at the Dagenham hub of the national Super 1s programme run by the charity Lord’s Taverners in partnership with county cricket boards.
Super 1s gives young people with a disability the chance to play competitive cricket at community hubs, while improving confidence, increasing independence and enjoying the benefits of sport.
There, Georgie has found a place she can be herself and have fun.
The 21-year-old - whose cerebral palsy affects her speech, balance and coordination - had trouble fitting in at primary school and lost self-confidence.
Her classmates didn’t want to pick her in teams and she was often by herself in the playground.
"They left me out of a lot of things," she said.
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When she went to senior school, Georgie got involved in disability sports and started playing cricket.
"With this, it's allowed me to progress because I know no one is going to judge me," she said.
"They've given me a focus in life."
Georgie was one of four recipients honoured at the Super 1s Inspire Awards at Lord’s Cricket Ground this month, who were recognised for how they overcame their disability challenges and empower others to do the same.
People involved in the Dagenham hub praised Georgie for always wanting to help others - and making everyone laugh.
Nikki Fairbairn is sports participation officer for Barking and Dagenham Progress Project, which helps young people with disabilities get involved in social and sport activities.
She said Georgie is an "amazing young person": "Georgie comes as a participant but at the same time, she's there to volunteer.
"Everybody knows it's hard to engage girls in sport and having Georgie there and being such a great role model, it's really helped settle other girls in."
Georgie says she wants to give back what people have given to her, and hopes that she can encourage others with disabilities.
"It seriously feels amazing to know I'm making a difference to their lives," she said.
"For kids out there who are feeling like I was, there is hope."