Inclusive cricket is finding a space to thrive
Hot English summer days are a rarity. Every year there are one or two but they are punctuated either side by rain, cool breezes or clouds. Coming from Australia the English summer has always been pleasant but not hot, not the kind of heat that leaves you sucking hard to catch your breath when out on the cricket field. Sunday 13th June was, though, one of those hot days. Having postponed the original date due to rain being able to play this historic match for LGBTQ+ cricket in brilliant sunshine was a…
Fate presents us with a unique opportunity
Last month the first all-inclusive LGBTQ+ cricket game anywhere in the world was due to take place in Birmingham, England. At the Unicorns, we were ready. As the new kids on the block, we knew we were entering unchartered territory against the well established Graces Cricket Club from London, but we have built a unique culture and understanding already, and we were ready to step onto the park and play.
Fast forward only a few days, and the sun is shining, and the forecast looks positive for the weeks ahead. Hard work and…
The curse of the British weather — Unicorns v Graces
After months of planning, yesterday was going to be a massive day for the LGBTQ+ cricketing community.
My new LGBTQ+ inclusive club, Birmingham Unicorns, were set to take on Graces Cricket Club from London in the first-ever fully inclusive LGBTQ+ cricket match anywhere in the world. Our hosts, Weoley Hill Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board, and various media organisations were ready to get the game on.
But, and there is always a but when playing cricket in England, we needed the weather to be kind. For weeks…
Cricket is not an easy sport to grasp
I don’t recall when I first learnt to bowl a cricket ball or bat with some semblance of technique that might lead to some runs being scored. I imagine it must have been when I was eight or nine years old and playing cricket for my primary school in Adelaide. Today the movements required, the angles and contortions that are common when bowling or batting is second nature. I don’t think twice about it now; it is a learned behaviour due to repetition and practice, much like running or walking up a…
Volunteering in sport as a gay man
This week I had the opportunity to participate in doctoral research exploring the experiences of LGBTQ+ volunteers in sports. I spent an enjoyable hour reflecting on my journey in sports with a focus on cricket. I spoke about my time as a committee member at one club and leading the establishment of another, a specific LGBTQ+ club. We don’t often stop to think about these journeys and what they mean, so I was grateful for the chance to reflect.
There are a few things I learnt from the chat, drawing on experiences that…
Moments of comedy and renewed confidence as a new season starts
In Aussie Rules Football, you alternate the ends to which you kick at each quarter break like many team sports. In the heat of battle, it can be easy to momentarily forget which way your team is going and inadvertently kick the ball the wrong way. When playing for my school in my teenage years, this was not uncommon, especially for my team. We struggled to compete every week, and sometimes getting possession of the ball was a significant achievement.
Cricket shouldn’t have these problems. Yes, we change ends…
Today I felt the suns rays for the first time in months
It is not that the sun hasn’t been out, it has over the winter months, but today there was genuine warmth, one that soaks through to your skin. The sun will dip in and out over the weeks ahead, but the warmth will become the default, and winter will soon be a long-forgotten memory. By the time mid-summer arrives, I will have forgotten all about winter; I’ll believe it never happened.
Covid-19 has wreaked havoc for the last year; the impact over the winter has profoundly changed the…
In memory of Bruce Morley
From my first tentative email to the club, asking for information, he filled my inbox with all the information anyone would ever need. Whatever the question, however small or seemingly insignificant, Bruce happily responded, pointing me in the right direction.
Bruce was the first person I met at Weoley Hill Cricket Club. In April 2015 the weather was typical for the time of year, breezy with showers sweeping across the ground. I hadn’t taken in the ground before, but I appreciated its tranquil beauty, nestled into the southern Birmingham suburbs. …
Lightning doesn’t need to strike twice
They say lightning never strikes twice.
They say you can ride out the storm.
But what if it doesn’t need to strike twice, and what if there never is a storm?
Growing up gay and experiencing homophobia and hetronormativity can exhaust you every day. But it becomes more challenging when you find yourself in spaces where you don’t feel safe or where queer people don’t traditionally have a home.
Sporting clubs can be such a space for many in the LGBTQ+ community.
Staying involved in sports and finding a home, whether a sport or…
A new inclusive story for LGBTQ+ cricket?
I stood on the club terrace overlooking a darkening oval, bracing myself as a chilly early autumn breeze picked up. My teammates and club members were milling about, and I wondered what I was doing.
I was there, but I wasn’t.
This is a common experience for me, a sense of standing to the side and watching, not really being there.
A state of mental transition, perhaps even loneliness.
The conversation surrounding me was typical of a Saturday evening in the summer following a days cricket. Much of it captured the spirit, stories…