Pupils from Whitefield Academy Trust had a day to remember last week as they travelled to the home of cricket to take part in the Lord’s Taverners National Table Cricket Finals.

The Walthamstow-based school’s side were one of 12 to compete in the Nursery Pavilion, at Lord’s Cricket Ground, for the right to call themselves national champions.

Teacher Philip Agbozo, 49, said his students were blown away by the chance to show off their skills on the big stage.

"It was an amazing day from start to finish," he said.

"The kids were so excited in the days leading up, some of them even got to school early on the morning to make sure we got to Lord's on time.

"It's given the kids a lot of confidence. I work with special needs kids, some of them lack confidence and get really anxious.

"But when they're playing table cricket, what comes out of them is amazing. It's just a beautiful game that needs to be promoted a lot more."

More than 400 schools and nearly 8,000 disabled young people took part during the heats of the competition, now into its 21st year, which is made possible thanks to the support of players of the People’s Postcode Lottery and Ford.

Played on a table tennis table with side panels and sliding fielders, a ball launcher, weighted plastic ball and wooden bat, table cricket enables young people with severe physical and learning disabilities to enjoy cricket and represent their school on a competitive basis.

The game not only gives opportunities for competitive play and social integrations, it also improves life-skills including self-confidence, independence and social skills. An enhanced role for the captain also allows for the development of leadership skills.

Year 10 pupil Thanushan Uthayakumar, 15, relished the occasion and was particularly proud to represent his home city.

"We're the only school from London. We're proud to represent our city," he said.

"When we started playing last year I felt nervous and apprehensive but when we got good at it, we took it to the next level."

Watching on at Lord’s was Radio 1 DJ, cricket lover and Lord’s Taverners Table Cricket Ambassador Greg James, as well as Middlesex wicketkeeper and Lord’s Taverners ambassador John Simpson.

And BBC star James was excited to see the charity making cricket available to people of all abilities.

"Table cricket needs its own particular set of skills and the kids in the Finals were very skilled at it," said James.

"Coming to Lord's is always exciting - I was blown away the first time I came – and they will have made lifelong memories from playing there.

"Sport is for all, which is why it's so good the Taverners gave the kids this opportunity."

The Lord’s Taverners is the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity whose aim is to give disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance – go to www.lordstaverners.org to find out more.