Message from Laura Cordingley

Racism is an absolute blight on our sport and we were shocked and saddened to hear Azeem Rafiq’s account of his time at Yorkshire CCC. His testimony and witness statement were heart-breaking and everyone at Chance to Shine is wishing him and his family the very best at this tremendously difficult time. 

We are determined that Azeem’s bravery will change the sport for the better. 

Whilst we are aware of the latest developments and Azeem’s related statement, this only emphasises the need for change within the game. Cricket is, and should be, a game for all and what has happened in Yorkshire and in other counties has only strengthened our resolve at Chance to Shine.  

Over the years we’ve seen incredible examples of how our programmes can positively impact young lives, including those from minority ethnic backgrounds; to think that many people may now feel that the sport we love does not welcome them is quite frankly devastating. 

We recognise that everyone in the game needs to pull together and contribute to change. We will be taking immediate action in the following ways: 

  • Providing further diversity and inclusion training for our coaching workforce 
  • Providing a clear support structure for any of our staff, workforce or participants who have been affected by recent events 
  • Working with our coaches to produce a series of commitments designed to reflect the charity’s core values
  • Prioritise the growth of our Wider Engagement Plan, which is already working to provide opportunities to underrepresented minorities in the game 

To ensure that we have a full understanding of the experiences of those who we work with, we will also: 

  • Conduct regular, independent, third-party research on the experiences of coaches and participants in our programmes, with a particular focus on whether they feel included or if they have experienced discrimination 
  • Ensure all parties are clearly signposted towards our existing whistleblowing system. 

To be successful in responding to the challenges that Azeem has laid bare, our work must also be a collaborative process and requires working with all the major participants in the cricketing community. Only this way can we play our part in helping to ensure that cricket will again be seen as truly a game for everyone.

Laura Cordingley
Chief Executive, Chance to Shine

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