Graces CC was founded in 1996 with the aim of providing a safe and inclusive space to play and watch cricket for people who identify themselves within the LGBTQ+. The club has been affiliated to Middlesex Cricket for over ten years.
25 years later, and a second club (Birmingham Unicorns CC) has now been formed. Last weekend saw the first ever all LGBTQ+ cricket match take place, where Graces CC won by 40 runs (read the match report here).
Members of the Graces CC committee are committed to the philosophy of inclusion, diversity and the power of sport for good, reducing isolation and maintain good mental health whilst also promoting healthy living.
In the past year, despite having a reduced cricket schedule due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the awareness of Graces CC has quickly risen. As a result, they are now in the position to field two teams on most weekends throughout the summer.
What has also been a positive development, and is now an aspiration for the club, is that more transgender people are looking towards Graces as providing the inclusive space to participate in cricket.
The committee are also working hard behind the scenes on several projects. They hope to put on a "Gay Ashes" Tour to Australia/New Zealand, to support the creation of LGBTQ+ Cricket clubs there (with a view to lobbying for cricket to be part of the "Gay Games”/Gay Olympics).
The club are looking to create a Trans/Women's team, and are also exploring opportunities to have their own ground and facilities, to share with other LGBTQ+ sports clubs in London.
For the first time in their history, the club are playing in Division 3 of the Sunday Chess Valley League this year. The aim is to be a team which competes at the highest level possible in order to combat homo/trans phobia in sport.
They believe that cricket has a vital role to play because of its ability to bring people together. There is a drive for inclusion in the game, and for spreading awareness that people's gender or sexuality is not a barrier to participation in cricket.
Further information on the club can be found on their website.