Lord Bourne, who counts integration among his portfolio of responsibilities at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, visited Spirit of 2012’s Breaking Boundaries programme on Friday 21 June.
Lord Bourne watched a friendly cricket match between Omar and Bradford City before visiting the Breaking Boundaries project at Park Avenue Cricket Ground in Bradford.
“I have had the privilege to witness how sports is bringing people of all ages and backgrounds together in Leeds – both at Headingly and through pioneering programmes like Breaking Boundaries,” he said.
“The playing and supporting of sport remains a shining example of how there are many more things that unite us than divide us. We must ensure that the legacy of the 2019 Cricket World Cup includes more opportunities for people of different faiths and backgrounds to come together around this great game.”
Lord Bourne met Bradford’s cohort of young volunteers, many of whom were involved in the afternoon’s cricket match as caterers, scorers, coaches and leaders.
“We were absolutely delighted to be able to introduce Lord Bourne to the work of our ground-breaking community integration programme, which is already changing lives in Bradford and four other location cities – Birmingham, Slough, Manchester and Barking and Dagenham,” said Spirit’s Director of Policy and Impact Ruth Hollis.
“We designed Breaking Boundaries – a £1.8 million, three-year project (2018-2021) – to bring together young people, families and communities through regular engagement in cricket: either playing, spectating or volunteering,” she added.
“To date, we’ve trained around 150 community ‘Champions’ aged 14-25 who are leading the project in their locations and connecting other young people – and their families – to the game of cricket, and to each other.”
The Breaking Boundaries programme has now connected more than 40 community organisations across its five locations who work to support the work of the young Champions. It is delivered jointly by Youth Sport Trust and Sporting Equals, and representatives from both organisations joined Ruth Hollis to welcome Lord Bourne to Bradford.
As part of his visit, Lord Bourne also met some of the Breaking Boundaries team who put on a special ‘Tea20’ Great Get Together, held to mark the third anniversary of the death of Jo Cox MP.
Like the Great Get Togethers, Breaking Boundaries uses the power of community events, and sharing what we have in common, to build stronger bonds and happier neighbourhoods.
For more on Breaking Boundaries click here.
For more on Spirit's support of the Jo Cox Foundation's Great Get Togethers click here.