Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Cricket Scotland: Changing the Boundaries – One year on

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Photo Credit: Cricket Scotland

July 25, 2023, marks exactly one year since the publication of the “Changing The Boundaries” report by Plan4Sport.

The independent review concluded that the governance and leadership practices of Cricket Scotland were institutionally racist, and followed a consultation process which found 448 separate examples of racism and discrimination within Scottish cricket.

Since the publication of the report last July, there has been a huge amount of work undertaken by the governing body, in partnership with sportscotland, to address the findings and actions which were recommended by “Changing The Boundaries”.

On Sunday, Cricket Scotland and sportscotland visited the Wicketz Govanhill hub in Glasgow, which is run in partnership with Active Life Club. The 24-year-old charity, run by volunteers, has embedded itself in the local community with a strong focus on volunteer recruitment within sport and creating opportunities for young people. The partnership allows Cricket Scotland to connect with the local community and provide cricketing opportunities for both players and volunteer coaches.

Cricket Scotland’s Interim Chief Executive, Pete Fitzboydon, and Head of EDI, Kash Taank, reflected on the last twelve months, and discussed the work currently taking place to improve the organisation.

Pete Fitzboydon:

“It’s been a tough year for Scottish cricket; most people I speak to say it’s been the toughest year ever. A lot of people are really hurt about what’s happened, right across the sport. That’s deeply regrettable. We remain committed to support all those affected throughout this process.

“This is a situation that Cricket Scotland should have done far better to prevent happening, and it’s something that we must fix. We let the sport down as an organisation; we did not provide adequate support or have in place the correct measures, processes, or policies, and these issues were quite rightly highlighted.

“What the report did do is make the organisation really introspective and think differently about itself. What I feel will come out of the entire process will be a better Cricket Scotland, and a better sport of cricket. While I’m confident that can happen, that means there is a great deal of work to do, not only in improvements in our organisation’s processes and policies, but also in bridge-building and healing the game and trying to encourage the cricketing community to unite.

“We have many plans to improve the sport, and while some of these have already been implemented, there’s still much more to do, but I do feel that Scottish cricket will emerge stronger and better for everyone.

“In recruitment during the last year, we now have many of the right people in the right roles, which is gradually allowing us to make the changes that we need to. That process is continuing as we speak, with the on-going recruitment process for a permanent Chief Executive, Chair and Independent Non-Executive Directors.

“It is imperative that we ensure cricket is available to everyone and inclusive for everyone, and that we start eradicating institutional racism from within our sport.

“Currently, there are still a large number of referrals to work through. That is a process that is not going to be easy, but it is a process that we need to carry out in a systematic way that provides absolute justice for all concerned, so that we learn from everything that has happened.

“We have recognised the need to work with our partners, and the cricketing public. We’ve carried out the biggest ever survey of Scottish cricket, to ask our people what they think about us, and what they want Cricket Scotland to be. The results will be published next week, and will then lead on to further public consultation, not only about the proposed governance changes for the sport, but also about the wider strategy of Scottish cricket, so we can move forward united.

“I’m optimistic about where Cricket Scotland is heading. Most people I’ve spoken to agree, and many are actually excited about where the sport can go in this country. We have the capability to run a more robust, compliant and inclusive sport, and it will absolutely emerge stronger and better for the changes being made.”

Kash Taank:

“I’ve recently started my role as Cricket Scotland’s Head of EDI, with my main purpose to provide a strategic direction on the anti-racism and EDI lens across and throughout the cricketing landscape.

“That starts from policy and processes, right through to key stakeholder engagement, and encapsulates everything in between as well.

“I think there’s a huge amount of work to be done. The key aspect of that work is doing it in collaboration with the people and communities that play the sport of cricket. This work will be a unifier for the sport of cricket, for the communities and for Cricket Scotland.

“The Anti-racism and EDI Advisory group, which was established earlier this year but then broke down, has been reconvened. I’m delighted to say that that three of the four representatives who stood down from the group have now returned, and we recently held another meeting and agreed on the terms of reference. This is a hugely positive step forward, but it’s only the start.

“Another part of my role is to introduce anti-racism and EDI training to the wider Scottish cricketing community. Everyone in cricket should look forward to some exciting training, not just around anti-racism but also the wider EDI landscape, which includes the nine protected characteristics, but also financial inclusion as well.

“It’s a vitally important part of the wider work we need to carry out as an organisation. We recently rolled out our initial training to our board and senior leadership team, which went really well.

“How practical is it to do this for the whole of Scottish cricket? It’s challenging, but there’s no one size fits all approach here. There are around 130 clubs in Scotland, so it’s not practical to do in-person training with every club, but one of my key objectives is to work with the regions and clubs to see what best suits them.

“Some training may be online, and some may be in person, but our job is to try and help deliver that training from a local base, to try and keep some sustainability.”

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