Cricketqubes Aims to Push Family Backyard Cricket with Nationwide Sessions

Cricketqubes Aims to Push Family Backyard Cricket with Nationwide Sessions


The Family Backyard Cricket (BYC) project, a testament to our commitment to inclusivity, is designed to promote physical activity and social cohesion among Black and South Asian families in the UK through cricket. Leveraging community engagement and co-development workshops, the project aims to address barriers to sports participation and create inclusive, family-oriented cricket sessions. The project was funded by Innovate UK through Inclusive Innovation funding and led by Dr Faatihah Niyi-Odumosu, Associate Professor of Physical Activity at the University of West of England. Tailored to diverse community needs, BYC seeks to foster intergenerational bonds and cultural integration and enhance overall well-being.

As part of the project, we held two co-developer workshops and three trial sessions – one in Cricketqube’s home in Newcastle, one in Bristol and one in Leeds.


Our first session was held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 9 August 2023, and five families, including parents, kids, and grandparents, attended. The session was held during the summer school holidays. The session started with a quick engagement chat between the participants based on the project's background and the aim of Family BYC.

Thirteen participants of diverse ages and backgrounds, including parents, kids and grandparents, participated in the much-enjoyed 1-hour session. The youngest member was two years old, and the eldest was 55. All families were of a South Asian background (Pakistani, Indian and Malaysian).

The eventful session was held at the DiverCity Hub in the centre of Newcastle. We used plastic bats and soft windballs, which was a good idea as nothing was broken from all the powerful shots the youngsters had mastered!

The Newcastle session, a resounding success, was a testament to the power of cricket in bringing families together. Many different types of games were carried out, such as family vs family and children vs parents. The competitive spirit among the children was astonishing, as they were highly motivated to beat their parents and grandparents. Both adults and kids preferred batting, especially those who were newly introduced to the sport of cricket. From a cricket point of view, the Newcastle event proved to be a huge success, as everyone who attended left with a smile. Those who had never played cricket before showed great desire to return for more future sessions and, more importantly, return for a lot more fun.

One of the participants said, “Fun activity with friends and family, will definitely recommend to other friends to come next time. Got to play cricket for the first time, enjoyed it; Alosh was very supportive.”


The second test event was held outdoors on 28 August 2023 at Jubilee Park, Bradley Stoke, Bristol, where four families attended, including children and parents. As at Newcastle, the session was held during the school holidays, making it easier for the families to attend.  

Just like the Newcastle session, the Bristol event started with a brief discussion about why we were running the event and what it was all about. The project lead, Alosh K Jose, led the session, which was attended by Dr Niyi-Odumosu, the research lead. Adult participants completed the pre-intervention questionnaire and the post-session intervention after the session.

There was a total of thirteen participants, including six adults, five children, and two toddlers, the age of two, which shows that all ages came out and attended the much-enjoyed session. We asked the families, mainly parents and grandparents, why they attended the sessions. The first family said that they attended “to promote socio-economic interests of ethnic minorities maps in the UK”. Another family said that they attended to “expose their children to physical activity”.

The participants of this event were all of African backgrounds. The one-hour session was held at an outdoor venue that we had not used before. Similar to the Newcastle session, this one was carried out using plastic bats and soft windballs. All the children were between four and seven years old, and it was their first time playing cricket; however, seeing some of their big hits and great deliveries, you would think differently!

In contrast to our session at Newcastle, the way we delivered this session was a bit different due to the participants' inexperience. This time, we held a more structured session, giving each player a set amount of balls to bat and bowl. The parents also got involved after seeing how the kids enjoyed the session. Everyone enjoyed the session, and they all insisted on returning for future sessions that we would do.

The participants said the session was a very good initiative which introduced families to physical activity together and said, “this was great to see as the [Sport England] report showed that they were getting less than one hour’s worth of exercise a week. Another participant said that the session was “very educative and very engaging “.


Our third and latest session was held at the West Indian community centre in Leeds on 9 March 2024. Compared to other sessions, Leeds had fewer numbers in turnout, with two families including children, grandparents and sisters. Like all other sessions, this one also started with a brief discussion about what it is that we do. This session was led once again by project lead Alosh.

In total, we had four members joining in the session: three adults and a child aged 11. Half of the participants were playing the game for the first time. However, we hope certainly not the last as some of the batting we saw deserves a place in the not-so-well-performing England team!

All the participants were from a Caribbean background. The one-hour session at the indoor venue was played much more competitively than the other sessions, as coaches also got involved and played a team game against the four attendees. All the participants got stuck, and you could see the competitiveness kick in from the first delivery. Seeing as it was their first time playing cricket, they all quickly picked up the skills and started hitting 6’s for fun, putting our experienced team under some pressure.

Following the end of the session, we carried out a post-session interview, during which they all said they would happily return every time we held a session. The participants enjoyed it so much that they said they would be happy to spread the news of us returning for another event, which hopefully will have more attendees.

The grandfather we had at the session said, “I enjoyed the game and would like to play more.” Another participant said., “I really enjoyed the event. I wish I had more time. I would be interested in doing another event with more notice to promote. The staff was friendly and welcoming. Great fun.”