THE man at the heart of making cricket more accessible in Yorkshire has now turned to kurling - and he’s set to host the first ever game in Barnsley next month.

Mac McKechnie, 73, of Monk Bretton, came up with the idea of walking cricket in late 2018 after taking part in a walking football session at Barnsley’s U3A group.

That wasn’t for him, but he’s always had a soft spot for cricket and decided to set up the first club in Yorkshire - and has received the backing of Yorkshire Cricket Club.

He stepped down from walking cricket earlier this month but he’s now started his new passion - ‘new age kurling’.

Mac told the Chronicle: “It is a game I introduced to Barnsley for older people during the summer last year.

“It is a fascinating game of skill played on a badminton court between teams or individuals.

“I started the sport in partnership with BPL who I work as a volunteer with.

“Our first group started at Dorothy Hyman Sports Centre in Cudworth and proved so successful that BPL asked me to start a second group at Hoyland Sports Centre - which obviously I did.

“One of the attractions about kurling, is that it is inclusive, and very social.

“For example I play from my mobility scooter, and it’s a marvellous gentle sport for the older person, including the less able.”

Mac is hosting a friendly match in Hoyland later this month - and he believes it’s potentially the first ever match in the town.

“I have arranged a friendly match at Hoyland Leisure Centre on Friday May 10 - probably the first ever kurling match in Barnsley,” he added.

“I am also taking a team of four pairs to the World Championships early next month in Bedford.”