After the London Bridge attacks I and a few philanthropic friends decided to buy the cricket brand Mongoose.
We believe that cricket can and should be a positive gift in the world, one whose language and ethos can add value, confidence and prepare young people to make the most of their talent and positively improve their situation in life.
My own story supports this; raised in a one bedroom flat in Kings Cross and brought up above a shop in West Croydon to Indian and French parents who face a lot of prejudice. I was forever not quite fitting in with people (often mixed heritage children found that problem in the 70’s and 80’s!) It was through cricket and the power of contribution it gave me that I first realised I could have value and win people over, it was decades before I realised that the structure and social nature of playing men’s cricket had done much to shape my personality, ability to challenge and belief that people’s attitudes are not fixed.
Sure there were low points in being told “I was in the wrong dressing room but not to worry because they had brought an extra bar of soap” when we played the Champion West Indian Caribbean & Commonwealth side. My response and subsequent verbal ass kicking of the culprits would simply not have been possible for a 14 year old without the self-confidence and language that cricket’s paradigm had given me.
On countless occasions I have seen boys and now girls (Women’s cricket now being the UK’s largest growing sport) build self-esteem and social skills through cricket.
Cricket however is also in threat of becoming less accessible to working class children, those with disabilities and within less economic vibrant communities as the number of schools playing has fallen whilst the price of the equipment has risen ( it’s hard to justify anyone paying £600 for a bat)
After the London Bridge attacks, I also wanted to find a way of contributing to helping disengaged youth at danger from Gang or Wahabi radicalisation in predominantly Asian and West Indian local communities.
I decided that gifting and supporting cricket equipment , and recycling 20% of our profits could help fund expert platforms to engage and educate would be workable over the next three years. Mongoose will donate kit and support the groups that share our aim or that need equipment.
Similarly a chance meeting with the former women cricketer and sight impaired cricketers made me determined that the inequalities and lack of intellectual design for other cricketers could be addressed through a more inclusive social aware business and Mongoose, inclusive cricket, was born.
We will provide good quality and fair prices. Have a woman’s cricket range designed by women cricketers for women cricketers, provide cost effective bundles for young cricketers, and support working community projects. I will ensure a minimum of 20% of our profits are put back into charity and community projects to guarantee that we are a force for good just as we want our equipment to help people look good and engage in the “world’s greatest social sport”.