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Middlesex CCC launches diversity and inclusion plan

©Middlesex CCC
 

Middlesex Cricket can today unveil the launch of its Diversity and Inclusion Activation Plan, which aims to address four fundamental areas across the capital and within the seventeen boroughs of Middlesex.

The product of months of intensive work from a selected Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, the Middlesex Board of Directors and key Middlesex staff, the D&I Activation Plan primarily aims to ensure that Middlesex, as a Club, reflects the broad diversity of the many communities and cultures that make the county of Middlesex what it is today.

From Tower Hamlets and Hackney in the East to Haringey and Brent in the North, to Hounslow and Harrow in the West, the county of Middlesex comprises some of the most diverse communities in the United Kingdom, and it is the Club’s firm intention to embed itself at the heart of each and every one of those communities, promoting cricket as a vehicle to bring people together.

The four key focus areas of focus for the plan are:

  • To build trust between Middlesex Cricket and all players, parents, guardians, and stakeholders
  • To ensure the composition of the Board, management and senior playing squads reflects the demographics within the county
  • To address any bias or perceived bias, whether conscious or unconscious
  • To promote cricket as a vehicle for social cohesion in London, bringing communities together

Each focus area within the Activation Plan has its own dedicated targeted and measurable objectives, to ensure the Club is able to make an immediate and lasting impact on communities across the county.

The Club will embark upon a series of roadshows to take cricket to the people, delivered at Community Centres across the county, by icons of the game both past and present, to engage with and inspire communities with the message that Middlesex Cricket is open to all.

The Club will be actively encouraging feedback, engagement, and consultation with community members across the capital and county, to inform, educate, and provide insight to the Club, which will help shape the evolvement of the Club’s D&I activities moving forwards.

Two members of the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group are already observing in the Club’s Board meetings, with the purpose of ensuring representation of the Club’s Board is more reflective of the broad demographic within Middlesex and to ensure the club continues its stance of being an equal opportunities employer.

The Club will be overhauling elements of its Youth cricket programme, to ensure that all cricketers are given equal opportunities to achieve their full potential, with selection based on merit and backed by an increased level of support from the Club.

The introduction of a new talent identification process will see the Club benefit from the emergence of talent from non-traditional pathways, ensuring that youngsters, irrespective of their route into the game, are given equal opportunity to thrive and succeed. Middlesex Cricket will reach out to clubs and schools across the network, requesting nominations for talented youngsters to be put forward for invitation to three one-day open net sessions, held twice a year, overseen by the Club’s Senior Professional Coaching Team. Players identified through this process will receive all the support they need to maximise their full potential as cricketers.

Middlesex’s existing programme to support coaches, administrators, and volunteers from more ethnically diverse backgrounds will be further expanded, with an increased focus on helping individuals achieve meaningful qualifications.

The Club’s employees will be encouraged to broaden their understanding of diversity awareness, with this sitting as one of the fundamental principles of the Club’s ongoing strategy.

To assist with social cohesion, Middlesex Cricket will be launching a number of new mid-week T20 leagues in 2022 across the county, with participation encouraged from all clubs, not just those sitting within the existing traditional Middlesex club network, whilst also replicating this scheme within schools across the county, encouraging all schools to engage with the new competitions.

The Club will also run three annual Family Festival Days, inviting community members from across the county to embrace cricket with the backdrop of music, food, and friendship. It is hoped that one such event will be held at Middlesex’s home at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Speaking of the launch of Middlesex’s Activation Plan, Mike O’Farrell, Middlesex Cricket’s Chairman commented:

"We are very determined to ensure that the diverse communities that we cover have a real opportunity to appreciate the benefit that cricket offers at every age, gender and ability.

“The group of people who have helped Middlesex Cricket to get to this point are also very determined that these plans are carried through, and as a result we become a more welcoming and much more inclusive representation of cricket at every level – both professional and recreational, on and off the field of play.

“In today's world, cricket has a very important part to play, and we will be working with the governing body of the game, the England and Wales Cricket Board, and other counties to demonstrate this focus."

Anyone wanting to provide feedback to the Club throughout this process can do so via an anonymous survey, wishing to join a mailing list to hear the latest information on the Club’s community engagement plans, or simply make any suggestions towards how the Club can help improve its relationship with communities within the capital, can visit a dedicated section of the Middlesex website at www.middlesexccc.com/D&I.

© Cricket World 2021