London-based Graces Cricket Club was founded in April 1996 as the world’s first official LGBTQ+ cricket team. They’ve been playing regularly ever since but it was only in 2020 that a second LGBTQ+ cricket team was established in the UK: Birmingham Unicorns.
Now they are to meet face to face for the first time in celebration of sporting inclusivity and the camaraderie of cricket. The 40-over game will be the world’s first official LGBTQ+ cricket match and is due to take place at Boundary View, Selly Oak, Birmingham on Sunday 23rd May 2021.
Club Chairperson, Leo Skyner, a partner in Sterling and their former CFO, considers that Graces is all about making cricket more inclusive and promoting the fact that “Everyone has the right to feel comfortable with their identity and their sport”. Leo is particularly pleased by the positive response to this milestone match, which is already receiving strong interest and coverage from the media, including the BBC and Sky Television.
Graces cricket club takes a stand for inclusivity and acceptance
Manish Modi is Vice-Captain of Graces and keen to help people who have previously felt uncomfortable, thinking it necessary to hide aspects of their true nature. He’s happy that people feel so free to be themselves at Graces where everyone is accepted as an inclusive part of the cricketing community.
The publicity surrounding this LGBTQ+ cricket match has made even more people aware of the sporting and social opportunities. As Manish recounts: “Someone came up to me and said he’d seen me on Sky Sports being interviewed and said that it had given him the strength to come out to his family. Gaining that extra confidence is so important and if I can help just one person that’s a great feeling.”
Sterling Financial Print – Official Sponsors of Graces Cricket Club
Joe Cotterell is Managing Director at Sterling Financial Print which sponsors the Graces cricket team with their players now sporting the Sterling Lion logo on their match shirts. Joe is a keen cricket fan and sees Sterling’s sponsorship of such an inspiring team as a particularly rewarding exercise:
“Sterling is proud to support such an inclusive club as Graces and we wish them every success with this world-first LGBTQ+ cricket match and for the future.”
Graces Cricket Club membership: www.gracescricket.org.uk/membership/Birmingham Unicorns membership: www.bhamunicorns.co.uk/membership
For further information, please contact: Chris Sherwood at Graces Cricket Club firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 07743 417671