Our EDI story
Our EDI Story
When it comes to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), Cheshire Cricket Board aspires to be a leading organisation within the cricketing community. This is why we are proud to share our current EDI story, which brings together our County EDI Plan and other strategies and objectives into one simple, compelling narrative.
The primary aim of our EDI story is to showcase the positive steps we are taking to ensure cricket in Cheshire is an inclusive game enjoyed by a vast and diverse audience. Please read on to discover how we are putting these plans into action to ensure every member of our Cheshire Cricket family can proudly say: “cricket is a game for me.”
Bespoke County Plans
In May 2022, we published our County EDI Action Plan, underlining our commitment to promoting and delivering Equity, Diversity and Inclusion throughout the county. This Plan - last updated in September 2023 - establishes some clear objectives for Cheshire Cricket which continue to be monitored and evaluated on a regular basis. CCB have also produced a County Disability Strategy and a Communities (Urban) Action Plan, and we are currently in the process of updating our Women and Girls Development Plan to capture some of the latest initiatives ahead of the 2024 season.
Investing in and Developing People
Throughout the past 12 months, our staff and volunteers have engaged in a number of development programmes designed to enhance our knowledge within the field of EDI. Nine senior staff are attending a Leadership programme delivered by Inclusive Employers, while Board members have received CPD in safeguarding from Community Interest Company Lime Culture. Club-facing staff have also taken part in a workshop delivered by Stonewall, an organisation who champion the rights of LGBTQ+ people.
We have reviewed and enhanced our recruitment processes, ensuring candidates from all backgrounds can apply for roles with total confidence. This has led to the recent appointments of one board director and two coaches from diverse backgrounds, one of whom (Rehaan Rather) has subsequently been promoted to the role of Communities Manager.
CCB continues to champion the role of women within the organisation; our professional female workforce has expanded to eight full-time staff and CCB now has four females (out of 11) on the Board of Directors, including Vice Chairperson, Di Totty. Additionally, our Women and Girls’ lead Jess Lewis has been promoted to the role of senior manager. Jess was recently accepted onto the ECB Specialist (Level 4) Course, which represents a fantastic opportunity to develop her skills alongside some of the most promising coaches in the country.
Coaching Officer and Disability lead coach Chris Edwards recently qualified as an ECB Coach Developer. Chris, who is also the England Learning Disability Captain, has already played an active role in this space, delivering an ECB Coach Support course for candidates with a disability.
Supporting the network
Volunteers are the lifeblood of the recreational game and we aim to ensure everyone has access to the tools they need to create welcoming and inclusive environments within clubs and communities in Cheshire. Through a dedicated EDI page on our website, we have made resources available to volunteers – see ‘News, Features and Resources’ section– and have also used our social media platforms to promote local and national campaigns and to advertise CPD opportunities delivered by some of our stakeholders.
The ECB Cricket Collective (Grass Roots) Awards presents the perfect opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to those volunteers who go the extra mile to help make cricket more accessible. In 2023, we received a record number of nominations for Cheshire candidates, and eight of the 12 County Winners were either female or from diverse backgrounds. 2023 also saw the inaugural meeting of Cheshire’s South Asian Cricket Advisory Group, which has been established to give a voice to volunteers and officials from South Asian communities.
Additionally, we are thankful to our junior and senior leagues for embracing and promoting the ECB Anti-Discrimination Code during 2022 and 2023. Leagues, Clubs and other organisations throughout grass roots cricket in Cheshire have now formally adopted the Code, committing to tackling discrimination in all its forms.
Expanding our Reach
Aiming to identify more ‘role models’ from underrepresented groups, we utilised funding from ECB (and sponsors) to provide free and subsidised places on Cheshire’s Coach Development courses. This included a number of women’s only coaching and umpiring courses, and several ECB Support Coach sessions exclusive to candidates from minority backgrounds.
In addition to our Coach Development offerings, CCB has partnered with charity Lord’s Taverners to launch the Super 1s programme in Cheshire, offering free weekly coaching to young people aged 12-25 with a disability. This includes a dedicated social media page to highlight the opportunities for involvement throughout the county, with active hubs in Warrington, Wirral, Trafford and Winsford. Some participants have progressed onto Cheshire’s County Disability Pathway, which now features both a hard ball and softball team, playing regular fixtures throughout the summer months.
Throughout 2022 and 2023, we also saw new partnerships develop with the North Bangladesh Cricket Association (NBCA) and Cheadle Mosque, who enjoyed a visit from Hundred Franchise the Manchester Originals. In Autumn 2023, CCB launched its first ever Community Indoor League, with 12 teams competing on a fortnightly basis at Seal Road recreation Centre in Bramhall. You can read more about all our community-based initiatives here.
Growing the Game
2022 saw the launch of several new participation initiatives in Cheshire, including the popular Chance to Shine ‘Street’ sessions and a series of Community Roadshows designed to engage those children not involved in the traditional club network. This included a number of Afghan refugees, who took part in free-to-access coaching sessions in Stockport and Sandbach.
We have also taken steps to ensure our Player Development Scheme remains accessible to all families, with course fees reduced (or waived) for those in receipt of Universal or Tax Credits. The recruitment of two Player Ambassadors has also helped to give children a voice and enhance the relationships between coaches and players.
And at club level, CCB have utilised the ECB County Grant Fund to enhance facilities and improve the experience for underrepresented groups. We have made awards of between £4,000 and £10,000 to 32 clubs with a women and girls and/or disability cricket section, supporting a number of transformational projects including new non-turf practice facilities (nets), enhanced toilet and changing rooms and family friendly indoor and outdoor social spaces. We have also partnered with the organisation Volunteer It Yourself (VIY) to deliver a number of exciting projects in low, socio economic wards in Greater Manchester, with three Cheshire clubs receiving upgrades to their facilities.
The above are just a few examples of the progress made throughout 2022 and 2023 as we attempt to raise the profile of EDI across the organisation and throughout the recreational game. We will continue to engage with all of our stakeholders in an effort to realise our vision of cricket as a ‘game for all’. If anyone has any ideas or feedback relating to our Equity, Diversity, or Inclusion initiatives, we would love to hear from you. In the first instance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org (we reply Mon-Fri)