Central to every thriving community is a common ground where families unite, weaving bonds and forging cherished moments. Often, this space is the backyard or garden—a canvas for communal gatherings. Amidst this diversity, cricket emerges as more than just a game for some; it's a game that unites families and entire communities.
Cricketqube is an inclusive innovation leader, running regular cricket sessions for over 100 participants from ethnic minority backgrounds in North East England. We co-founded the Ageing Lifestyle in Black and South Asian (ALiBSA) webinar series with Dr Faatihah Niyi-Odumosu, a clinician and an associate professor of physical activity and health at the University of the West of England, Bristol.
Family BYC Project
Cricketqube, with the support of Dr Niyi-Odumosu, is now leading a Family Backyard Cricket (BYC) project funded by Innovate UK, which aims to co-develop engaging cricket sessions fostering physical activity and social connections within Black and South Asian families using cricket.
Following the success of the first co-development workshop in Newcastle, we recently held the second workshop in Bristol on October 14, 2023, where women from South Asian and Black backgrounds engaged. We ensured that their perspectives and voices played a crucial role in shaping the Family BYC project.
The workshop was facilitated by Dr Faatihah Niyi-Odumosu, the research lead, who brought together six participants from Black and South Asian backgrounds. The age range of the participants was 19-43 years, including mothers and daughters, ensuring a diverse mix of experiences and insights.
The majority of the participants played cricket when they were younger but gradually discontinued due to limited opportunities as they grew older. This clearly shows women from ethnic backgrounds would love to play cricket – it is just that they do not have a chance to do so.
When discussing how to promote Family BYC, most participants emphasised the importance of involving schools to engage children, parents, and grandparents. They also stressed the significance of making the programme accessible for people from low-income families, highlighting the need to remove financial barriers.
Health and Social Impact
Participants believed that Family BYC would positively impact their physical, mental, and social health. They expressed enthusiasm about improved intergenerational relations, bonding with their families while staying active, and the overall well-being that the programme could offer.
Barriers and Solutions
As we explored potential barriers and solutions, participants suggested equal opportunities for men and women to participate. The concept of female-only sessions was well-received as a way to promote inclusivity. Leveraging communication platforms like WhatsApp and word-of-mouth marketing were identified as effective ways to promote the program.
Childcare was identified as a significant barrier for women to attend sessions. The need for childcare support was evident, ensuring that women with family responsibilities could participate. As one mother said, “having creche available for parents with toddlers” is critical for mothers to join in. Additionally, the importance of providing food that suits everyone's dietary requirements and preferences was underscored.
The insights gathered from this workshop are invaluable, guiding us as we continue to co-develop the Family BYC project. We are immensely grateful to these inspiring women for their active participation and meaningful contributions. Their voices are shaping the future of cricket in our community, making it more accessible, diverse, and inclusive.
Stay tuned for more updates as we work to bring Family BYC to life, making it a sport for everyone, regardless of age, background, or gender.