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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Yorkshire calls for grassroot cricket clubs across the region to stand together to tackle racism

Yorkshire Cricket is calling for all grassroots cricket clubs across the region to sign the Yorkshire and Humber Anti-Racism in Sports Group pledge

Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) is proud to be part of the Yorkshire and Humber Anti-Racism in Sports Group – a collective with the aim to stand with community sports organisations in a commitment to being anti-racist.

The group, launched last year, is made up of people from Active Humber, Bradford Council, North Yorkshire Sport, Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, Sheffield City Council, Street Games and Yorkshire Sport Foundation.

Now the Yorkshire Cricket Board (YCB) – which oversees the recreational game and supports more than 800 grassroots clubs and schools playing the game every week in summer, and more than 125,000 recreational players – is calling for all grassroots cricket clubs across the region to sign the pledge.

Paul Cummins, Director of Recreational Cricket for YCB, said: “A key part of YCB’s role is to lead, unite and inspire the recreational game across Yorkshire. We encourage all our partners and stakeholders – leagues, cricket clubs and community organisations to sign the pledge.

“Together, we the recreational game in Yorkshire stand united in the fight against racism, and we are proud to support the positive message that the Yorkshire and Humber Anti-Racism in Sports Group stands for. We are uniting as organisations to combat racial discrimination in grass roots sports and in society.”

Last year the Yorkshire and Humber Anti-Racism in Sport Group launched the ground-breaking pledge – the Commitment to tackling Racism and racial inequality in community sport.

Representatives from the Airedale & Wharfedale Senior Cricket League, The Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League, and the Quaid e Azam Premier Cricket League. Image: LDRS

The pledge – signed by Stephen Vaughan, Chief Executive Officer for YCCC, on behalf of the Yorkshire Family – YCCC, Northern Diamonds, YCB and the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation – has so far been signed by more than 100 organisations.

Representatives from the Airedale & Wharfedale Senior Cricket League, The Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League, and the Quaid e Azam Premier Cricket League, signed the pledge at Headingley on Tuesday, 16 April, 2024.

Basharat Hussain, Executive Chair for the Quaid e Azam Premier Cricket League, signed on behalf of the 38 teams in the league, alongside Jane Pratt, President of the Airedale & Wharfedale Senior Cricket League, who signed on behalf of the 36 clubs represented and Alan Birkinshaw, the Chief Executive for The Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League, signed on behalf of the 48 clubs and 96 teams which make up the Bradford league.

In signing the pledge organisations commit to actively tackle attitudes and racial inequalities that prevent or discourage people from leading active lives and enjoying the benefits of sport and physical activity.

Each organisation will have its own plan to:

  • Be open and responsible organisations that recognise the changes needed to become anti-racist organisations.
  • Lead by example as anti-racist allies.
  • Use and share knowledge to create change locally.
  • Enable communities to take part without fear of discrimination.
  • Develop the workforce to become diverse and representative of the communities they are working in.
  • Deliver inclusively so that everyone has the opportunity to be active.

Vaughan said: “Sport should be a driving force for good, bringing people together and uniting communities.

“We want to ensure an inclusive environment for all and this can only be achieved by working together at all levels of the game, and in consultation with organisations outside of cricket.

“By being part of the Yorkshire and Humber Anti-Racism in Sport Group the Yorkshire Cricket Family hopes to help create a culture within community sport that ensures everyone can enjoy being free of any racism or discrimination.”

Mo Hussain, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager for YCCC, said: “Yorkshire takes pride in its diverse communities. Our signature on this pledge, and by being a leading organisation in the Yorkshire and Humber Anti-Racism in Sport Group, reaffirms our commitment to fostering belonging, reducing inequality, and promoting inclusivity across the region.

“As an organisation we are dedicated to being proactively anti-racist, and by calling for grassroot cricket clubs to sign up to this pledge, we acknowledge the importance of actively tackling racism in all its forms and dismantling barriers caused by racism.”

Nigel Harrison, the Chief Executive for the Yorkshire Sport Foundation and Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber Anti-Racism in Sport Group, said: “We all want our Yorkshire and the Humber to be the kindest, friendliest and most inclusive region to play and take part in sport.

“It’s on all of us to create a culture within community sport that ensures everyone can enjoy being free of any racism or discrimination. We hope sports organisations across the region will come together to make this happen.”

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