Kent Cricket shows its support for Pride Month during flagship Canterbury Cricket Week

Thursday 15th June 2023

Kent Cricket shows its support for Pride Month during flagship Canterbury Cricket Week

In previous years, Kent Cricket has aligned with the other County Cricket Clubs to mark Pride nationally, supporting Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign. This year, Kent Cricket set out to support Pride month at a local level using the Club’s flagship annual cricket festival as a catalyst event to demonstrate that cricket is a game for everyone.

Canterbury Cricket Week is the oldest surviving festival of cricket in the world and this year’s festival was the 171st to take place since 1842. The festival provides the Club with an opportunity to celebrate the contribution that cricket makes to communities across Kent and, as such, is a key event within its strategy to make everyone feel welcome to enjoy watching cricket at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in Canterbury.

Kent Cricket supported The BeYou Project – in association with the Club’s Official Charity Partner for 2023, Porchlight, for this match.

The BeYou Project provides safe, welcoming and inclusive spaces where 13 to 25-year-olds can meet, socialise and find the support they need. Everyone is welcome whether they’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning their sexual or gender identity. It also advises families about how best to support young people (aged 8+) in their lives and works with schools to help them become more inclusive. More information on The BeYou Project is available here.

Allied to the fact that the City of Canterbury has the highest percentage of people who identify as LGBTQ+ in the county of Kent and the annual Pride Canterbury event is the biggest in the County, with over 35,000 visitors, building a Pride themed-event into Canterbury Cricket Week celebrations represented a real opportunity to grow the game and make all cricket followers, regardless of their background, welcome at Kent Cricket.

Kent Cricket identified its Vitality Blast match against Hampshire Hawks on Friday 9 June as the ideal fixture within Canterbury Cricket Week. As well as falling on the most popular day for T20 matches at The Spitfire Ground, it also coincided with the City hosting the Pride Canterbury event on Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 June.

The Pride themed match started with a display of coloured fireworks in front of a lively home crowd. In addition to players wearing LGBTQ+ awareness armbands, Pride themed rainbow Stumps were used for this match and dedicated Pride 4/6 cards were handed out to spectators, with LGBTQ+ ambassadors on the ground.

Out4Cricket, an organisation dedicated to making cricket more inclusive and welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community were in attendance at the match, to help us continue our journey to engage with LGBTQ+ groups across our county.

Leo Skyner, Co-Founder of Out4Cricket, said: “We were delighted to be a small part of the event. It seemed to go really well – visible, inclusive and sustainable – with real engagement from the staff, a range of local partners, and a follow up to gauge members’ interests in developing Kent’s approach to LGBTQ+ inclusion.”

Sam Timms, a member of The BeYou Project team, said: “We’re delighted that Kent Cricket is helping us to send a message: LGBTQ+ young people are welcome in this sport. Many LGBTQ+ young people tell us they feel unable to be their authentic selves when doing sports at school. They feel an expectation to be seen and to act a certain way – for example, being strong and masculine. They are less likely to get involved, their mental health suffers, and they miss out on the mental health benefits that physical activity can provide.

“Having openly LGBTQ+ people and allies at a club of Kent Cricket’s level gives them the green light to begin participating. Some will enjoy this at amateur level, others may even progress to a career. And most importantly, it reminds us all that everyone is equal.”

Steven Jefferies, Senior EDI Campaigns Manager, ECB, who was also in attendance said: “It was fantastic to see first-hand how Kent Cricket is Raising The Game by celebrating LGBTQ+ inclusion at an elite fixture during Pride month. The display of allyship in front of a packed-house at Canterbury helped send a powerful message to everyone in the game that the LGBTQ+ community is welcome in cricket – whether that’s playing, coaching, supporting or volunteering. The ECB’s Rainbow Laces campaign later this year will give all clubs a chance to follow Kent Cricket’s example.”

Simon Storey, CEO, Kent Cricket added: “We hope that showing our support for the LGBTQ+ community, as communities across Kent begin to celebrate their Pride festivals this month, will encourage people to attend our games, knowing that we welcome and support them. We would also encourage anyone from the LGBTQ+ community who would like to get involved in recreational cricket at any level to get in touch with us and we will link them to a local club.”

For more information on how to get involved in recreational cricket at any level, please visit:

Further information about Out4Cricket can be found on their website HERE.

In the work that Kent Cricket Community Trust is doing to support hard to reach groups and the role of cricket to bring people together. The trust has launched a LGBTQ+ and cricket consultation. The aim of the consultation is to understand the voice of the LGBTQ+ community within cricket as well as how cricket can be fully accessible. From the consultation the trust will be setting-up an advisory group by the end of 2023. With the aim in 2024, establishing some LGBTQ+ cricket groups across the County.

To complete the survey, please visit