As LGBT+ History Month comes to a close, Surrey CCC are pleased to announce that the Vitality Blast match at The Kia Oval between Surrey and Essex on Sunday 2 July will be the Club’s second official Pride-supporting match.
Following on from last year’s successful first Pride match against Kent, the biggest Pride-supporting match in the country returns in 2023.
This year, the Club has partnered with LGBTHero – the national health and wellbeing charity for LGBTQ+ people – as the official charity partner for the match. The charity is based in Lambeth, close to The Kia Oval, and works to support the physical and mental wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people, empowering them to change their own lives for the better.
Proud Surrey is the official Surrey LGBTQ+ supporters’ group, the first of its kind in the UK, and was formed in March 2021. They regularly attend Surrey games, both home and away, and provide a positive, inclusive environment for all fans. Through their collaboration with Surrey County Cricket Club, they support the club in its efforts promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion within the sport of the cricket.
Last year’s Proud Surrey T20 saw Surrey beat rivals Kent in a thriller in the Vitality Blast. Away from the on-field action, the Proud Surrey flag was flown above the iconic Micky Stewart Members’ Pavilion, and representatives from the supporters’ group and partner LGBTQ+ charities took a lap of honour in front of crowd. The generous fans at a packed-out Kia Oval made donations to LGBTQ+ charities and showed their support for the LGBTQ+ community. Surrey’s corporate partners including Kia and Xbox also got behind the initiative.
Further details about how Surrey fans can get involved in supporting the game will be released in the weeks leading up to the match.
Steve Elworthy, Surrey Chief Executive, said “We want everyone who enters the gates at The Kia Oval to feel welcomed. Proud Surrey are a fantastic organisation who have led the way nationally in our sport and we’re delighted to be working with them and with the LGBTHero charity to showcase just how inclusive cricket can be. Last year’s match was a fantastic event and we’re looking forward to making this year’s even bigger and better than before.”
Ewen Macleod, Chair of Proud Surrey: “At Proud Surrey, we want to make cricket a more welcoming and inclusive sport. Visible allyship is an important part of making LGBTQ+ fans feel welcome at The Kia Oval and elsewhere. That’s why we’re delighted to work with Surrey again to promote this Pride match. Last year was an excellent event and this year’s promises to be bigger and better.”
Ian Howley, CEO of the LGBTHero Charity, said “Sport has a way to connect with people that nobody else can and to be able to have a lasting impact, to make lives better for LGBTQ+ people. When it comes to trying to tackle many of the inequalities that LGBTQ+ people face, sport has a big part to play in how we can change attitudes in society. Being welcomed by Surrey County Cricket Club allows a young [LGBTQ+] person to be valued, to be seen and to be respected.”
Tickets for the Proud Surrey T20 are available to buy from £1 for U16s and £27 for adults are available here.