Ground-breaking programme to build healthier and happier communities through cricket

Breaking Boundaries, funded by Spirit of 2012, will be delivered by the Youth Sport Trust and Sporting Equals. It will use cricket to bring different ethnic and faith communities closer together, fostering mutual respect and friendships.

Spirit of 2012 has unveiled its new £1.8 million programme Breaking Boundaries, set to bring together young people, their families and communities through regular engagement in cricket: as players, fans and volunteers.

Breaking Boundaries is a three-year project (2018 – 2021) developed in partnership with the English Cricket Board and Professor Ted Cantle and the Institute of Community Cohesion (iCoCo). Ted is the UK’s leading authority on community cohesion and intercultural relations, and carried out the Government’s report into the underlying causes of the 2001 disturbances in Oldham, Burnley and other towns.

The programme will be delivered by the Youth Sport Trust and Sporting Equals, and will make the most of cricket’s potential to bring different ethnic and faith communities closer together, fostering mutual respect and friendships.

YST Chief Exectutive Ali Oliver said:

We are thrilled to be working with Spirit of 2012 and Sporting Equals on this innovative and exciting programme, using sport to unite communities and change lives.

At a time when it can feel like divisions in society are growing, harnessing the power of sport to heal divisions and bring communities together is increasingly vital.

This programme has the potential to make a huge, tangible and lasting difference to the lives of people in our five areas. I can’t wait for us to get started.

Spirit of 2012 Chair Alan Coppin said: 

I’m very proud to be unveiling this ground-breaking programme that sets out innovative and inclusive methods for engaging across communities, ethnicities and faiths to build happier and healthier relationships.

Spirit of 2012 invests in projects that leave a social legacy, providing short- and long-term opportunities for communities that are least well-served to develop new skills and new connections. Breaking Boundaries does exactly that. I can’t wait to see it go live over the summer in the five areas of the UK in which it will run.

Alan unveiled Spirit’s plans at the 2018 British Ethnic Diversity Awards (BEDSAs) in central London alongside England cricketer Hamidullah Qadri. Hamidullah, a talented off-spinner who became Derbyshire's youngest first-class player when he made his debut in June 2017, arrived in Derby at the age of 10 as a refugee from Afghanistan. His love of cricket meant he was playing for his local first team within two years of arriving in the UK.

Hamidullah has been selected to represent England in the 2019 World Cup. Breaking Boundaries will use the excitement generated by this competition, and its rising stars, as well as the success of the Women’s World Cup in 2017, to engage all ages, genders and ethnicities in the five communities in which it will run, in Manchester, Birmingham, Bradford, Slough and London (Barking and Dagenham).

The programme will ensure disabled and non-disabled young people, girls and boys, can participate together, as equals. It will be led by local young people, with each community managed by a locally-recruited apprentice. And it will provide trained and supported volunteering opportunities, as well as social hubs for young people and their families.

Aurn King, Chief Executive of Sporting Equals UK said:

In 2016/17 there were over 84,000 hate crime incidents reported by the Home Office, an increase of 14% from the previous year: 78% of this was race hate crime,” said Arun Kang, Chief Executive Sporting Equals UK.

To reduce hate crime we need to build more cohesive communities, and Breaking Boundaries will focus on enabling local communities to feel a sense of belonging, encouraging empathy and developing long-lasting relationships between people of different backgrounds.



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