PCA PRESS RELEASE
Regional champions promote initiative in each of the 18 first-class counties.
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PCA members have embraced supporting each other via the Association’s Talk to Teammates campaign, with each of the 18 first-class counties plus the England Men’s and Women’s squads now represented by a regional ‘champion’.
The Talk to Teammates initiative, which was launched by the PCA with support from its registered charity, the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, was designed to combat isolation and loneliness amongst the PCA membership in lockdown, as calls to members have revealed that all age groups have been feeling the effects of a third national lockdown in under a year.
The campaign is now led by the champions who are taking it upon themselves to get back in touch with current and former teammates.
Amongst them are a total of 21 ex-England internationals, including the likes of David Gower, Matthew Hoggard and Charlotte Edwards, all of whom are helping to spread the message of the Talk to Teammates campaign.
They are joined by the current Trust President David Graveney who, having been made redundant last year, has now focused his energy into encouraging ex-players to be more proactive in reaching out to one another.
Graveney is a regional champion for two of his former counties in his native West Country – Gloucestershire and Somerset – having also played for Durham, and has been checking in on former teammates via WhatsApp and Zoom throughout 2021 so far.
Ex-Northamptonshire man Stephen Peters, who said it was “a vital time” for PCA members to stay in touch with old colleagues when he helped to launch Talk to Teammates, joins Graveney in taking up the role of regional champion at the county where he spent the majority of his professional career.
The PCA encourages more player groups to follow the lead of counties including Derbyshire and Sussex – two counties where dedicated WhatsApp groups were set up during the initial lockdown in March last year which have been used for ex-players to stay in touch throughout the Talk to Teammates campaign.
A further success story comes from the County Cricketers Golfing Society (CCGS), captained in 2021 by former England and Middlesex man Angus Fraser, which has been proactive in encouraging current and former players to link up via its Facebook page, sending a message to all members to promote the aims of the Talk to Teammates campaign.
For many, regional county former players’ associations have become a key port of call for staying in touch during these difficult times, including at Warwickshire and Lancashire, where the past player group is run by former England international Warren Hegg, who is now the Business Development Manager at Emirates Old Trafford.
The PCA and the Trust urge PCA members to use such organisations, WhatsApp groups and whatever means possible to continue staying in touch throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in light of figures published by the Trust on Tuesday which outlined that 94 PCA member were supported in the area of mental health by the charity in 2020 alone.
By working together and talking to teammates, we can continue to support each other’s mental wellbeing and give others a helping hand during these unprecedented times.
And remember, support is always available from the PCA and the Trust if you’re finding things difficult at the moment, so don’t hesitate to reach out via our dedicated Confidential Helpline on 07780 008 877 or download the Thrive mental health app, which is available to all PCA members.