2018 saw Connecting Clubs return to Biratnagar, Nepal to continue our work on our flagship project, Cricket for Equality. Following the hard work of everyone involved, we managed to expand the scope of the project, reach more people, and put in place steps for a sustainable future.
Connecting Clubs has made great strides in 2018 and we are looking forward to going from strength to strength in 2019. Check out what we have been up to below and what we hope to achieve next year.
From December 5-19th our team was in Biratnagar running our second Cricket for Equality programme. Together with our local implementing partners, the Nepal Cricket Foundation, we expanded on our programme from last year with the sustainability of our work at the forefront of our minds.
Our team was led by our founder Angus Berry and he was joined in Nepal by Grace Mooring, an international education professional from Mott MacDonald, and Lee Booth from Cricket without Boundaries. Lee brought with him vast experience running sport for development projects, having coached in excess of 100,000 children across Africa, the Middle East, and in Europe.
Under Lee’s guidance we expanded the work we did in schools, reaching over 1,200 kids in our 10 days on the ground. In these schools we ran sessions that introduced cricket to the kids, including girls (which was often a new experience) focusing on quick, fun, and interactive sessions. This allowed us to embed our gender equality work into the sessions, using our time with the kids to understand their perceptions of gender, their issues, and their barriers to playing sport.
In addition we spend an extended period of time working with some of the most talented players in the region. It was once again amazing to see the enthusiasm and skill on show from a region that has been neglected by the governing bodies in Nepal. We used our time with these players to again dig into their ideas and concerns on gender issues and used every opportunity to promote equality and the importance of boys and girls working together.
All in all the trip was a major success, we went above and beyond what we achieved on our first visit, finding a method of engaging with many more people in our short time in country. I must stress my thanks to Lee for leading on all things cricket. His experience with Cricket without Boundaries was a major reason for our success and his enthusiasm for his work really pushed the rest of the team.
Again we are indebted to Avi and his team in Nepal, their hospitality, as always, was exceptional. So our 2018 project was a real learning curve, one that will stand us in very good stead going forward.
Volunteer programme for 2019
In 2019 we will be expanding our project in Nepal even further! In order to achieve more we need your help. So in 2019 we will introducing a volunteer programme for people that want to make a difference. Details will be announced in early 2019 for how you can get involved. We are looking for enthusiastic individuals, being a cricket nerd is not a requirement, but a can do attitude is a must!
Coaching programme for Nepal
To supplement the work we do in country we are working with our local partners to deliver a year-round coaching programme. Introducing cricket to schools, giving girls the opportunity to play, and spreading the message of the power of sport in making social change.
With the help of Lee and Cricket without Boundaries we are creating coaching materials and 10 week plan that can be rolled out across schools in Biratnagar. Lee ran coach education sessions in Nepal during our trip giving 6 local coaches the tools to drive change. They are determined to make a difference and we look forward to sharing progress in the New Year.
Hopes for 2019
2018 was a year that saw our Cricket for Equality project in Nepal grow and develop. We will be building on this success in 2019, expanding our project and looking at ways to spread our message into other parts of Nepal. Our focus remains of promoting gender equality through our work and with the foundations built during the last year we are hopefully for a fruitful 2019 in Biratnagar.
In addition, we are continuing to explore opportunities to implement a UK project, working with refugees and using cricket as a way of supporting their integration into local communities. We are in the early stages of planning this and we hope to develop a proof of concept by the middle of the year.
As always, we are on the lookout for partners to help us grow. We believe that our work in Nepal shows just how far a little money and time can go. With support we can do more work, better work, and have a more sustainable impact. We will continue to seek opportunities that support our aims in 2019.
A big thanks to everyone that has made 2018 a success. We are a small organisation trying to make a difference and we appreciate the support from everyone that believes in what we do. Here’s to a successful 2019 and I can’t wait to share what we are doing with you all!
Angus Berry, Founder - Connecting Clubs International
Connecting Clubs International are delighted to announce that the inaugural Cricket for Equality project will take place between Monday 13th February and Tuesday 21st February.
The CCI team will be travelling out to Biratnagar to launch the programme in partnership with the Horizon Cricket Academy and the local community. The project will run for just over a week ensuring that there is sufficient time to deliver on its goals.
Over the next two months CCI will be working hard to create the robust and sustainable blueprint for Cricket for Equality to ensure that we maximise the value to the local community.
CCI are also able to announce that Cricket for Equality will be run in support of HeForShe. HeForShe is the UN Women's Solidarity Campaign for Gender Equality and CCI will be striving to align the aims of the project in Biratnagar with those of the campaign.
CCI are set for a busy few months, with lots of information to share and plans to be made. The team are determined to communicated as much as they can so that the people that have support the project so far are kept up to speed with progress .
So for all of the latest information keep checking this website,facebook and twitter and please feel free to make comments and suggestions directly to the team.
Thank you all for your support so far and the team can't wait to get started.
Saturday saw the continuation of Connecting Clubs International's partnership with the University of Sussex Men's Cricket Club through an indoor cricket tournament. Three teams took to south coast with CCI founder Angus Berry leading a University of Sussex veterans side.
The cricket was competitive throughout with each of the three teams winning one game. After the matches took place the players gathered together to listen to Angus speak about the Cricket for Equality project in Nepal and to hand out everyones various fines.
These fines, in combination with matches fees meant the day raked in around £200 for CCI's work in Nepal. A special thanks goes to Richard Bennett of the University of Sussex who was instrumental in organising the day and ensuring that everything ran smoothly.
CCI look forward to continuing to work Sussex throughout 2017 with plenty more fundraising activities planned.
Connecting Clubs International are excited to announce that Tom Helm of Middlesex CCC is joining the team as an ambassador. Tom is one of England's most promising fast bowlers and will be spending time over the winter preparing for the new season ahead. CCI are delighted to have Tom on board and he had this to say about joining the team:
"Connecting Clubs International is making a difference by enabling social development through sport. The work they are doing in Nepal is a great example of how sport can have a positive impact on people’s lives. CCI are a small team of dedicated individuals who are growing a non for profit based on strong principles and a genuine desire to drive social good. I fully support their work in Nepal developing cricket to provide sport for the whole community. I look forward to seeing the project development and I am confident that they will succeed."
Connecting Clubs International is looking forward to working with Tom moving forward and wish him all the best with his cricket over the winter.
CCI is delighted to be able to announce that our successful partnership with the University of Sussex Men's Cricket Club will be continuing for the 2016-2017 academic year. To signal this commitment from both parties the club will be hosting a charity indoor cricket tournament on Saturday 26th of November.
The tournament, held at the University of Sussex campus, will run from midday throughout the afternoon and spectators are encouraged to come along to see the action. Those wishing to watch the three teams fight it out will need to donate £2, with all money raised on the day being donated to the Cricket for Equality project.
CCI would like to extend their thanks to Sussex President Charlie Newton-Savage and First Team Captain Richard Bennett for their hard working in organising this tournament and the ongoing partnership between CCI and the cricket club.
See you on the 26th!
Connecting Clubs International (CCI) are delighted to announce that Bina Jha has joined the CCI team as a gender equality adviser. Bina brings a wealth of experience to CCI and will be working specifically on the gender equality element of the 'Cricket for Equality' project in Nepal.
CCI founder Angus Berry commented on the appointment::
"Her addition to the team will bring us a depth of knowledge about the specific issues in Nepal and help us devise a robust and sustainable strategy for change."
Bina completed her Master’s in Sociology with Gender Studies from Tribhuwan University, Nepal. She has also achieved a Master’s degree in Maithali and a Bachelor’s in Law. She wishes to use her knowledge and skill to eliminate Gender Based Violence (GBV) from society and contribute to the empowerment of women to enhance their capacity to uplift their quality of life. She is also interested in the academic sector to educate the youth of Nepal to fight against social evils such as GBV and enact behavioral challenges for women/ girls in Nepal.
Bina had the follow to say about working with CCI on the 'Cricket for Equality' project:
:"This is a great opportunity to work for my community with such an enthusiastic team."
CCI are excited to work together with Bina to help drive lasting social change in Nepal.
To donate to the 'Cricket for Equality' project please click here.
A few weeks ago our founder, Angus Berry, published the first in a series of articles on sport in the international development context on the Huffington Post blog. We are delighted to share the article with you here now.
It's Time For Sport To Tackle Inequality At Community Level
The 2016 Summer Olympics will be remembered for a number of things; from hen parties on the beach to protests on the streets. In fact many of the most newsworthy stories came from what was said or done after the medals had been handed out. One such moment was when Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui told reporters the world over that her performance had been affected by the fact that she was on her period. This admission drew praise from elite athletes and people across the globe. Fu had broken a taboo that so few female sports stars feel they can address, and to such celebration. However, that simply speaking about periods generated such headlines shows just how far society sadly still needs to come.
What Fu did opened up the conversation around gender and sport and gave the topic a global platform in front of a diverse audience. The Olympics offer the chance to witness just how powerful sport can be in addressing inequality and promoting cooperation, teamwork and cultural exchange. Some of the enduring images of Rio 2016 will be the refugee team proudly announced to the crowds of the opening ceremony or the North and South Korean gymnasts sharing a selfie together. Sport has the power to unite like nothing else and the Olympics embody that in spades.
But once the games have ended and the streets are cleaned what happens to the spirit of fair play and equality? Do the actions of Fu and others really have a lasting impact on the lives of ordinary people across the world, or does it only take the next clickbait headline for people to forget? Does there need to be another approach to addressing inequality in communities, both local and global, one that sport can take a leading role in? I believe that there has to be a bottom up, community led approach to tackling social issues and that is why in 2015 I founding the charity Connecting Clubs International (CCI).
Sport provides the ideal medium for driving meaningful change, bringing people together in a way that no other activity can, and I believe we need to utilise this power. CCI was set up to harness the power of sport to create development programmes in partnership with communities both in the UK and overseas. We bring together stakeholders from the local community to discuss issues that they believe are important to them. So this week, after a year of planning, we are launching ‘Cricket for Equality’, a programme working with the Horizon Cricket Academy (HCA) in Biratnagar, Nepal, to address issues around gender equality.
Our partners in Nepal highlighted gender equality as a priority for them, thus we have worked together to identify three strands for development. The first is gender violence; a significant problem in Nepal that has grown since the devastating earthquake in April 2015, with rural communities in particular seeing a rise in violence against women. The second is the role of taboos in Nepalese society; just as Fu helped break down the barriers during the Olympics, we hope to create a safe space in which girls and woman can speak openly and honestly about the concerns they have and issues they face in the community. Finally, we will tackle the stigmatisation of women & girls who play sport in Nepal, crystallized by traditional gender roles. To tackle these three areas of priority, we will initiate a national media campaign, using cricket as the focus to constructively challenge the perception of gender roles.
But why cricket? In recent years there has been a significant shift from simply trying to achieve ‘gender equality in sports’ towards ‘using sport for gender equality and personal development.’ Cricket in Nepal holds special significance and clubs are often the centre of communities. Together with HCA we will develop their expertise and status in Biratnagar. This will help the club use sport to bring people around the table for conversations and workshops. Sport, whether at the elite level or the community level brings people together, it challenges people to think in new and innovative ways. CCI’s ‘Cricket for Equality’ programme recognises the importance of sport in Nepal. We are working with the local community to provide sustainable growth and address pressing social issues.
The Olympics give sport a powerful platform every four years, and it is now time for communities all over the world to recognise how sport can be used for development. Through challenging social norms and providing a platform for community led social development, CCI’s inaugural project will lead the way in achieving this recognition.
This article was originally published on the Huffington Post - http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/angus-berry/its-time-for-sport-to-tac_b_11783586.html?
We have given an update on our crowdfunder over on the fundraising page. We have also updated the project to give better clarity about:
Please share the fundraiser with friends, family and anyone you think might have an interest. Every little helps.
Follow the link below to the update on the project and get sharing!!
Connecting Clubs International are delighted to announce that Mehboob Alam has joined the CCI as a global ambassador.
The national team player famously took all 10 wickets in a World Cricket League match against Mozambique, cementing his place in the history books of the international game. On our work in Biratnagar he has this to say:
"I am delighted to be part of Connecting Clubs. I am very happy and excited for their support to promote cricket development in Biratnagar supporting Nepal Cricket Foundation".
Mr Alam will use his national profile in Nepal to help CCI with our mission to support cricket development in Nepal and use that as a catalyst for driving social change.
We are delighted to announce that our 'Cricket for Equality' was featured on a Huffington Post blog written by our very own Angus Berry. The article talks about how sport can be utilized for development across the globe.
Angus also speaks specifically about how Connecting Clubs International is using cricket to tackle gender equality issues through our project in Nepal.
The full article can be read here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/angus-berry/its-time-for-sport-to-tac_b_11783586.html