From England squads to the Kia Super League, workshops part of wide-reaching programme.

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A Professional Cricketers’ Association initiative has taken place over the past 12 months with the aim of educating every professional cricketer, male and female, in England and Wales on the importance of sexual consent.

The sessions were organised and presented by LimeCulture, the UK’s leading sexual violence training and development organisation, on behalf of the Association. The sessions saw players engage in honest and open discussion with one another on the matter for an hour, with no external parties bar the qualified tutor present in the room.

The education is part of the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme (PDWP), which aims to improve players’ performances on the pitch by developing them as both professionals and people off it. The continuously expanding programme has recently received additional funding, allowing the Association to increase the scope of its work in areas such as consent education.

After the success of the pilot workshop, which was delivered to the England Lions in October 2018, the education was delivered across the professional game with the senior England Men and Women’s squads amongst those. Every county and Kia Super League team also received guidance on how to behave in an appropriate and acceptable way.

The bespoke sessions were tailored for each specific delivery with education set to expand to online modules for current and future professionals, similar to recreational drugs and anti-corruption tutorials which are already in place.

The final session of 2019 was delivered to the England Women squad before they departed for their tour against Pakistan with the players benefitting from a workshop that had a particular focus on promoting positive, healthy relationships.

Professional cricket squads receive consent training

PCA initiative educates every professional cricketer in England and Wales...

Young star Kirstie Gordon, who is just beginning her international career at the age of 22, emphasised the value of wide-ranging education at what for her is an early stage:

“It’s such an important topic to be educated on so it’s really good that they’re giving these workshops to all professional cricketers, male and female, in the country.”

At the other end of the scale, England’s white-ball skipper and World Cup winner Eoin Morgan, who has represented his country on 335 occasions, reflected on what he took away from the session from his position of authority:

“If you see something going on that potentially has consequences, I think as a senior player in the group that I would certainly be willing to confront that. Whatever it was at the time, I need to know the information before that, and now I do.”

Ian Thomas, PCA Director of Development and Welfare, said:

“We’re delighted to have been able to provide these sessions, and the feedback from our members has been hugely positive for what is a very emotional and delicate issue.

“LimeCulture’s expertise in this field has seen engaging workshops with the England Men’s, Women’s as well as county and Kia Super League squads embrace the importance of these sessions and develop themselves further both as professionals and more importantly, as people.

“These players operate at the pinnacle of our sport and are watched by millions of people week in, week out. It is therefore crucial that they have the required knowledge to continue to provide a good example for the general public, and young people in particular, in the way they conduct themselves.”

Kim Doyle, LimeCulture Joint Chief Executive, said:

“LimeCulture is delighted to have worked in partnership with the PCA on this important training initiative. We have been extremely impressed by their clear commitment to tackle sensitive issues, such as sexual consent, across the sport. The response from all players has been excellent, with both the men’s and women’s teams positively engaging and willing to explore the topic of consent. 

“At LimeCulture, we believe that consent training is key to reducing instances of sexual violence and our training in sport has been designed to raise awareness of the law relating to this area, explore and challenge attitudes and behaviours and promote positive, healthy and respectful relationships. We are therefore very pleased that the players have acknowledged how useful this training has been for them.”

Find out more about the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme.