PCA reach funding milestone
The Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) has surpassed the £1m mark for educational funding grants to its membership over the last ten years.
Players past and present are provided with personal development managers, who can help them to assess their future options, while the PCA pays 50% towards the cost of obtaining qualifications or vocational training.
In all, 417 members have received grants, enabling them to take 64 different courses on subjects as diverse as media management, financial planning, public speaking and plumbing.
The PCA’s assistant chief executive, Jason Ratcliffe, said: “We’re committed to member personal development, recognising that it’s imperative to have a plan and a vision for life after cricket and this funding reinforces that objective.
“The programme is a joint effort with the ECB; we are grateful for their support and the important contribution they make to our funding.”
“Playing professional sport is a fantastic privilege but it does come to end, and that's when the next phase of life and another 30-40 years of work becomes important.”
Veteran spinner Gary Keedy, who moved to Surrey from Lancashire last month, has recently completed his studies in physiotherapy.
“The funding I have received is vital and very much appreciated,” said the 37-year-old.
“I’ve managed to complete my physiotherapy qualifications over the last four years with the PCA's help and have absolute peace of mind that when the time finally comes to hang up my boots, I'll have a seamless transition into a new career.”
Hampshire's Michael Carberry recently qualified as an electrician, after an illness which threatened his professional career at a time when an England berth was within touching distance.
Carberry commented: “I used the disappointing down-time of injury to ensure I was preparing for a second career, should I not recover fully.”
Former Derbyshire and Northamptonshire batsman Adrian Rollins, meanwhile, has accessed funding almost every year since his retirement nine years ago. He is now the proud holder of a bachelor degree in Maths and Education as well as a Masters degree in Education.
“It’s amazing that I still get supported after playing,” he said. “The help and support is invaluable. I would urge more members to take advantage.”
ECB Managing Director of England Cricket, Hugh Morris, who was integral in driving the implementation of the personal development programme with the PCA 10 years ago, said, “It’s tremendous for the PCA to have hit this momentous landmark figure.
“It’s vital that as a game we encourage player personal development on and off the field, particularly in the initial years after finishing, where a loss of identity and self-esteem can be a reality for many. Continued learning and personal development whilst still playing can enhance a player's performance and confidence, which can only be a good thing for all concerned.”
Educational funding is just one important component of a comprehensive support network provided by the PCA, which includes contractual and legal advice in addition to online tutorials.
Players also access mandatory anti-corruption tutorials, a confidential helpline and the PCA Benevolent Fund which offers assistance in cases of hardship.