Deaf teenager Lily bowling over coaches with cricket skills

Aspiring cricketer Lil Rooney who has represented South Yorkshire despite being deaf
Aspiring cricketer Lil Rooney who has represented South Yorkshire despite being deaf
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A profoundly deaf Sheffield teenager is bowling over sports coaches and her proud family with her ability on the cricket pitch.

Lily Rooney, 14, recently took five wickets as she competed for South Yorkshire Girls Under-15 team against their East Yorkshire rivals.

The teenager from Dore also plays for Sheffield Transport Cricket Club and Chesterfield and Sheffield Ladies’ team after taking up the sport around three years ago.

Her dad James said he hopes her achievements will provide inspiration to other local children with disabilities and show they can compete on an even-playing field with their peers.

She was first diagnosed with hearing loss when she was 18 months old, with her hearing deteriorating between four and six.

In 2007, Lily was given a Cochlear implant, which is an electronic medical device that provides sound signals to the brain.

James said that despite the challenges of her condition, the High Storrs School pupil has not been held back in her life and has achieved particular success on the cricket field.

He said: “With her being profoundly deaf, she does rely on a lot of visual aids - lip-reading, watching people’s body-language and watching how people react. As she has grown up with hearing impairment, she has become very good at that. If you met here, you would probably not even guess other than the hearing aid.

“Lily’s story can give hope and inspiration to other children with disabilities and handicaps and that they can overcome these and compete alongside all the other kids.”

Sheffield Transport coach John Slack said Lily has captained the team on occasion. “She is very focused and comes prepared with batting orders and how to bowl and makes up for things by doing the preparation beforehand. Her understanding of the game is really good.”