Survey reveals insights of sports enthusiasts.
Leicestershire County Cricket Club (LCCC) and the Cricket Supporters' Association (CSA) have been surveying Leicestershire's relationship with cricket through the BIG cricket survey and research project.
The survey focused on improving understanding of how sport and cricket fits within the community and wider society.
It also looked at the situation for individuals and within family structures. Barriers were also examined to understand how entry and experiences impact on both a participation and spectator level.
The survey is part of the club’s equality, diversity and inclusion work which focuses on ensuring the club is a safe place for fans, players and staff no matter what their background, sexual orientation, faith, race or other characteristic and is undertaking work to create their 'Foxes family'.
Leicestershire County Cricket Club CEO Sean Jarvis said: “The insight provided from this survey gives us a great indication of how the residents of Leicestershire interact and engage with cricket in the county.
“I’m proud to see that engagement and participation are highly linked together and that of those who haven’t attended a match at the Uptonsteel County Ground there’s a real appetite to do so which shows we have a deep-rooted connection in Leicestershire.”
Here's what they found
Sport is a huge passion for those in Leicestershire with 98% of the responders indicating they follow sport regularly.
Of those who follow sport, 43% spend seven plus hours engaging with sport in some form or another.
Cricket, football and rugby are ranked top three most popular sports with 49% of responders stating cricket was their number one sport.
55% male respondents, 27% female respondents, 44% white community and 62% non-white community.
Of those that follow cricket, 40% were introduced to the sport by members of their family and 20% through educational institutions (schools, college, university) and 13% were introduced to cricket through watching it on TV.
Engagement amongst cricket followers was high – 52% stated it was the same as 12 months ago and 23% are engaging more (29% in the non-white communities).
There is a strong link between engagement and participation – 86% who follow cricket have played cricket in some format (school 28% and local club 27%).
95% of responders had heard of Leicestershire CCC before.
Of those, 49% follow them regularly however 26% don’t follow at all (34% amongst non-whites).
Over three-quarters of those aware of Leicestershire CCC have attend a live game (76%) and 94% of those enjoyed their attendance with 86% happy to recommend and interested in attending again in the future.
Encouragingly, 65% of those who have not been to a game at Leicestershire CCC before, are interested to do so in the future.
Additional good news is found in the fact that the levels of engagement amongst cricket followers is either the same (52%) or more (23%) compared to 12 months ago.
As a result of the research, Leicestershire CCC is starting new initiatives. One new initiative is to take the club on the road through a series of ‘County Together Roadshows’ at local cricket clubs across Leicestershire to engage further with the community.
Details of the roadshows including dates and venues will be announced in the near future.
Leicestershire CCC will also be working with the Cricket Supporters’ Association on the launch of a new Fan Advisory Group with more details to follow.
In the meantime, if supporters are keen to be part of the Fan Advisory Group, you can express your interest via email.
Becky Fairlie-Clarke, CEO of the Cricket Supporters’ Association said: “We are pleased with the insight and information gained through this piece of research and want to thank the wide range of participants who got involved and let us know what they think.
"It’s clear that there is a high degree of love and understanding of cricket across the county and across the different communities but there is still a long way to go.
"Realistically we know that not everyone is or will become a cricket fan but through the work of Leicestershire CCC and the CSA, we can ensure cricket is as welcoming and accessible as it should be for both playing and spectating.
"We are excited to be taking the next steps with Leicestershire in continuing to grow the Foxes family."
The survey was designed to look at all aspects of the game in order to gain a holistic understanding of where cricket sits across all communities.
The research was both quantitative (through the survey) and qualitative (through one-on-one conversations) and examined consumers attitudinal behaviour and engagement levels with sport and, specifically, cricket.
The results have been fully analysed by the Cricket Supporters’ Association.
Written by Levitha Biji
Levitha is a broadcast journalism graduate, currently studying MA International Media and Communication Studies at the University of Nottingham. Having lived in three countries and being fluent in three languages, she's passionate about global journalism. She's recently finished an internship with Niche Magazine and also runs her own blog, Levitha Mariam.