When we set up the club we knew we would have to create a Twitter Hashtag (#mysportalso) at some stage, after all everyone does these days right? We wanted one that built on our love of Whakapapa: that we require and do better with a sense of belonging, and that incorporated empowerment, inclusivity and diversity.

There can be no doubt that Black Lives Matter, and I fully support the importance of highlighting the unacceptable racism and discrimination that continues to exist in our society. At the same time I was not surprised at the backlash against the campaign and had sympathy (as I wrote at the time) with those that said All Lives Matter, because they do.

I mention this because it highlights an important issue we wanted to address with our #. Correcting wrongs has to be addressed both educationally and practically. Too often the tendency can be to “over accommodate”, to understandably take a “our turn now” approach, which in turn creates resentment amongst certain parties, and diversity was not built on resentment.

This is certainly a difficult issue to address. In my discussions with clubs and cricketers the issue is far less why we need to change, but how do we change. Understanding the history and the impact of history helps (we should never brush history under a carpet), as does the need to move forward and help build a more inclusive and diverse society, but how? What can an individual, a club, a league, and sport do?

I do not have ‘the’ answer, there is no “the answer is”, but I strongly believe that the answer lies in building from the bottom up, lots of small changes and steps that become habits and lifestyle changes, that are achievable and repeatable, that when scaled up contribute to a significant change.

If we all look at our whakapapa and how we can expand it to be more accommodating as individuals of diversity and inclusivity then we are making a start.

With our # we are hopefully creating something that you can get behind and help make the changes so many want, but so many don’t know how to achieve:

  • my – this is about individuals owning their whakapapa and creating a sense of belonging for them, it clearly says that ALL are welcome, by treating the person as as individual with no associated label
  • sport – at No Boundaries we want to use the whole sport of Cricket (Playing, Umpiring, Scoring, Analysing, Coaching, Podcasting, Vlogging, Blogging, Volunteering, Working on the Grounds, Watching etc)
  • also – an inclusive non combative word showing that ‘we are all accommodated’ at the same time.