The son and grandson of Welsh cricket star Bernard Hedges are preparing to walk the Boundary of Wales – a 1,000-mile trek to give more children access to cricket in Wales.
Stephen and Ellis Hedges will set off from Mumbles, Swansea on Saturday July 5th and will follow the Wales Coastal Path and Offa’s Dyke – a total of 1,050 miles, climbing a height equivalent to four Everests.
They expect the walk to take 51 days, and hope to raise £10,000 for the Cricket Foundation’s Chance to Shine programme, which enables children in state schools in Wales to play cricket, through the work of Cricket Wales.
Bernard Hedges was one of the great Glamorgan batsmen, with a dazzling career which stretched from 1950-68. He amassed nearly 18,000 runs in that time and remains seventh on the all-time run-scorers list for the county.
He was the first Glamorgan player to score 100 in a one-day match, and the Gillette Cup man of the match medal, which he won for that feat in 1963, is now in the CC4 Museum of Welsh Cricket at the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff.
Born in Pontypridd in 1927, Bernard Hedges was an all-round sportsman, who also played rugby for Pontypridd and Swansea. After his playing days, he retired to Mumbles, where his widow Jean still resides.
“’Whenever I was with Dad we seemed to bump into people who could remember his playing days,” said Stephen. “It reminded me how important sport is to us in Wales and what a great all round sportsman my Dad was. The spirit in which he played was the way he lived his life; honestly, fairly and with humility.
“The way he met his death from bowel cancer was the way he lived his life. Quietly, with bravery and dignity,” he added. “Such a life deserved to be remembered in some way.”
The walk will begin at 10am on Saturday July 5th at Trams Diner in Mumbles. Junior players from Mumbles CC will be on hand to start the walk, and Jean hopes to walk the first few paces too. The walk will finish there on or around Monday 25th August.
“This is an extremely generous gesture by Stephen and Ellis,” said Cricket Wales chief executive Peter Hybart. “The Chance to Shine programme is doing great work in giving more state pupils access to cricket, and further funds will enable us to involve even more children.”
Cricket Wales is the national governing body for junior and recreational senior cricket in Wales. It works closely with Glamorgan County Cricket Club, which governs the men’s professional game. For information visit www.cricketwales.org.uk