Birmingham City University And Edgbaston
Here at Birmingham City University, we are deeply proud of our home city and all that it has to offer. And across the city and the region, we are also proud to partner with organisations large and small, who contribute to the economic, cultural and social growth of Birmingham and the West Midlands.
These partnerships enrich the experience we are able to provide to our students, through real-world application of their studies. And through the skills, expertise and experience of our students and staff, we are delighted to know that BCU makes a difference to our partners, and the communities they serve, as well.
It is the richness of opportunity on both sides which makes our partnership with Edgbaston and Warwickshire County Cricket Club so special. We’ve worked together since 2016, and in that time, have seen many students pass through the gates of this famous old ground as they augment their studies with practical application in fields as diverse as sports therapy and strength and conditioning, photography and marketing. And we’ve seen too, the benefits that the fresh perspectives of our students can bring to the club – from players being treated by our students to seeing the club’s merchandise shot by our talented photographers.
When it comes to the cricket, we’re equally eager to show our support for our hometown heroes. On match days, spectators will see our name carried around the top of the Birmingham End (where else?) – as well as in pride of place on the shoulders of the Birmingham Bears themselves. And when England are in town, international match days provide the perfect backdrop to create links between our partners, and identify more ways for us to collaborate for the benefit of students, staff and the wider community.
One of the key things about our partnership with Edgbaston and Warwickshire County Cricket Club is that we have a set of shared values – we’re partners in the truest sense of the word. And nowhere is this more evident than in the work we’ve collaborated on to open up access to professional cricket. Just as we’re passionate about ensuring no barriers stand in the way of progression to higher education, so too are Warwickshire County Cricket Club about doing all they can to remove similar hurdles which might prevent talented young men and women excelling at the highest level of the game.
The work that’s being done through collaboratively funded research into under-representation of cricketers from a South-East Asian heritage at the elite level is making a real difference to cricket in this country. It’s been used in the ECB’s response to a DCMS hearing into structural racism to ensure that lasting change is achieved – and we’ve just watched as the first graduates from the South Asian Cricket Academy have emerged into the professional game.
Beyond that, we are working with the cricket club to ensure more players can access trials and have the same opportunities as youngsters who follow a more traditional cricket path, being nominated for trials by club or school coaches. The new scheme means that open trials will enable any young player to get themselves in front of Warwickshire’s scouts, based on nothing other than how they play.
We’re proud to be the University for our city. It’s who we are, and it has been for our near-180-year history. And we’re just as proud to partner with such an iconic local sporting team, who have been around themselves since 1882. Through our partnership, our shared outlook and the work we’re doing together, we know we can contribute significantly to the enablement of personal transformation which is so important to us as a University. Together with Edgbaston, we aim to support students to apply their learning, to open up access for young people of all background, and to celebrate our home city and all that it has to offer the world – on and off the cricket pitch.
Edgbaston on campus
Birmingham Bears captain and T20 star Carlos Brathwaite handed out free coffee to staff and students on campus.