Landmark agreement will see gambling awareness programmes delivered to all women cricketers.

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The PCA has today announced a four-year partnership with EPIC Risk Management to provide gambling awareness educational programmes across the entirety of its members and, in a first of its kind agreement in cricket, for all women’s county and regional squads.

The PCA is excited to partner with the EPIC Risk Management, a globally leading independent gambling harm minimisation consultancy, to provide customised gambling awareness educational programmes for the following groups across a four-year programme.

  • Year 1 – All county academies and women’s regional teams
  • Year 2 – All county professional squads and Rookie Camp.
  • Year 3 – All county academies, women’s regional teams and Rookie Camp.
  • Year 4 – All county professional squads and Rookie Camp.

The sessions will form part of the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme (PDWP), a personalised support service which enables individuals to excel and develop sustainable performance within and outside of cricket.

The programme supports players’ welfare and wellbeing through promotion, prevention and intervention strategies, which includes delivering gambling harm awareness education. As part of the PDWP, the PCA delivers an annual Rookie Camp event to induct players who have recently signed their first professional contracts into the game.

“We are delighted to continue our work with the Professional Cricketers’ Association,” says Patrick Foster, Director of UK and Rest of the World at EPIC Risk Management.

“In 2021 we have been able to provide sessions for the county academies and women’s regional teams, conducting these sessions digitally during lockdown and more recently in person.

“The initial feedback from players has been really encouraging, with the squads showing great interest in the vital message we’ve been delivering; they’ve asked plenty of pertinent questions and demonstrated a lot of understanding how important an issue it is.

“We’re particularly pleased to have been delivering these sessions to the women’s regional teams, which is an important step for all parties as the profile and reward of their competition grows. We’re delighted with this start and looking forward to extending our partnership into the future.”

“EPIC Risk Management and the PCA have a fantastic working relationship. Both myself and my colleague Chris Wood have both personally benefitted from their help and support in our own experiences, so to be able to announce a continuation of our partnership is extremely pleasing.”

“We are delighted to expand our partnership with EPIC Risk Management in the first agreement of its kind,” says Ian Thomas, Director of Member Services at the PCA. “We have worked extensively with EPIC in the past and the quality of education delivery has always been of the highest standard, so we look forward to this partnership continuing in an official capacity for the next four years, including delivering education to women cricketers for the very first time.

“The welfare of our members is always our first priority, so it’s important that we make all professional cricketers, as well as academy players, aware of the mental health implications that recreational gambling can pose with assistance from EPIC Risk Management.”

The importance of the work being undertaken in English cricket is highlighted by the case of Hampshire and London Spirit seamer Chris Wood, who sought help from the PCA having lost hundreds of thousands of pounds through a gambling addiction.

Wood now uses his own lived experience to help strengthen EPIC’s message of aiming to take the harm out of gambling by delivering many of the company’s seminars to professional sports clubs up and down the country.

EPIC Risk Management is a globally leading independent gambling harm minimisation consultancy. Working across the highest risk sectors for gambling-related harm, EPIC has worked in 23 countries on ground-breaking harm minimisation programs, sector leading gambling operator training, and class-leading advisory. EPIC draws on lived experience to help individuals and organisations across financial services, elite sport, the military, criminal justice, education, and the gambling industry to minimise the risks posed by gambling harm.

EPIC has also worked with the likes of the Chelsea FC, Arsenal FC, Manchester City FC, English Football League (EFL), and the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA).

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