ECB ICEC Report Response: Statement from Somerset County Cricket Club, Somerset Cricket Foundation and Western Storm
The ECB has today published its response to the ICEC’s report into discrimination within cricket in England and Wales.
The ICEC report made for uncomfortable reading, and we reiterate our acknowledgement to the people who were brave enough to voice their experiences.
We support our governing body’s stance that there is no place for discrimination or exclusion in any form within cricket. We will continue to uphold our responsibility as individuals, and collectively as partner organisations, to ensure cricket is a game for everyone, no matter how they wish to participate. We are committed to driving change where needed across our region, and we will continue to work collaboratively with the ECB to ensure that our objectives are met.
View ECB response: https://resources.ecb.co.uk/ecb/document/2023/09/25/fdb7ff22-84c2-438b-bdae-7d9c5b6d544f/Making-Cricket-a-More-Inclusive-Sport.pdf
Somerset CCC has already enhanced the governance, accountability and diversity of the Club’s Board of Directors and the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Within these Boards, we have appointed Dr Habib Naqvi, who has significant experience in this field, as the Club and Foundation’s lead on equity, diversity and inclusion.
Over the past 12 months, we have developed a comprehensive ED&I strategy and action plan and we will be reporting on our progress against this annually. Our strategy sets out six strategic pillars and related activities which are essential if we are to embed a stronger and more inclusive culture and identity.
These strategic pillars are:
- Demonstrating strong ED&I leadership at all levels
- Having effective governance and accountability
- Building insight and knowledge
- Empowering people
- Establishing meaningful partnerships
- Ensuring inclusive communication and stakeholder engagement
In order to build on the strong ED&I foundations that are already in place, we have established an Inclusion Advisory Group. This comprises external experts and advisors in the broader area of ED&I and has been created to (i) provide expert guidance on the implementation of the inclusion strategy and action plan; (ii) offer an external perspective on best practice, and (iii) review compliance with relevant guidance on diversity and inclusion issued by the ECB.
Other areas in which we are progressing include:
- Building upon existing work with the MCC Foundation and the Clowance Trust in state schools in order to widen access to the talent pipeline. Through the implementation of a new and innovative position of Pathway Coach and State School Lead, perceptions of accessibility in cricket will be transformed. This role’s main objectives are to make a tangible difference in state school children’s experience through designing and delivering the Somerset State School Programme to provide maximum reach and impact. We also welcomed thousands of school children from across the South West to join us across four Schools’ Days.
- The Maqbul programme for local refugees and asylum seekers within Somerset was launched in partnership with local charities. The programme has seen two separate communities taking part in cricket activity provided by Somerset Cricket Foundation. The social and physical outcomes have been outstanding and have been integrated into local communities, clubs and the playing of formal fixtures.
- A key focus for attention has been that of older adults as part of a well-being and mental health programme. Walking Cricket was launched across Somerset, with approximately 100 participants taking part in Year 1. In addition to this, a support and training package has been developed with local leisure providers to enable self-sustaining groups to develop. A Walkers & Talkers group has also been launched to give local people the chance to meet up once a month, walk around the Cooper Associates County Ground, chat with like-minded people and participate in a Q&A session with a Somerset cricketing legend. This has proven so popular that Walkers & Talkers is now fortnightly.
- A full-time programme for adults with additional requirements in community day care settings has also been introduced across seven care providers in the County. This project uses cricket as a vehicle through which to improve physical literacy and social skill development. Our annual Inclusion Match was once again a big success in 2023, with members of our Disability, VI and Walking Cricket teams joining children with additional requirements on the pitch at the Cooper Associates County Ground during an LV= Insurance County Championship match.
The women’s game continues to grow at an exciting rate and Somerset continues to play a key role within the development of the sport. We have held numerous women’s international matches at the venue, with a particular highlight this year when we sold out the Ashes ODI – the first venue to do so in the series.
With Somerset CCC and Western Storm’s recent strengthening of our partnership and Somerset CCC’s ongoing support of the Somerset Women’s team, we continue to work hard to drive equity between the women and men’s game.
We are aware that there is still much to do to achieve the goal of cricket being the most inclusive sport in the country. Through the commitment, effort and contribution of our colleagues and partners we are determined to make cricket in the South West a sport for everyone to enjoy.
Our ED&I approach and work is detailed on our websites:
EDI @ Somerset County Cricket Club – Somerset (somersetcountycc.co.uk)
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) – Somerset Cricket Foundation.
If you have experienced any form of discrimination at SCCC, SCF or Western Storm, we want to know about it. You can report it to SCCC via our website above, using this email address: email@example.com or you can write to Jaie Goddard, Head of People and Culture, Somerset County Cricket Club, The Cooper Associates County Ground, St James Street, Taunton, TA1 1JT. Similarly, for anything associated with Western Storm, please use the above methods.
If your complaint concerns SCF, please complete the online form found here:
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) – Somerset Cricket Foundation