The MCC Foundation is delighted to announce on World Mental Health Day the appointment of Stephen Fry as a Patron.
Fry joins an illustrious line up of cricketing greats who already support the foundation, including Claire Taylor, Mike Brearley, Mike Atherton and Mike Gatting.
Fry joins the Foundation at a time when it is increasingly determined to lead the way in diversifying the game. Through its workshops and training camps, the foundation places a particular focus on children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. Given the challenges faced by young people, especially under the shadow of COVID-19, there is also a sharp focus on mental well-being.
The much-love English actor, comedian and cricket lover is also the President of mental health charity, Mind, and hopes to harness this invaluable experience in raising awareness for cricket’s empowering qualities.
Commenting on the announcement, Stephen Fry said: “I am so proud to be a Patron of the MCC Foundation. Cricket was one of the very first sports to recognise the need to address openly the issue of mental health, and the Foundation is a flagbearer for this important cause in communities up and down the country. Our most celebrated cricketers are those that champion human characteristics, and it is those qualities that make the sport such a deep, enduring, and rich game.
“As more and more girls and boys are inspired by the magnificent summers of cricket we have recently had, the MCC Foundation will do all it can to encourage warmth, openness and empathy amongst its participants alongside a fierce competitive spirit and hunger to improve physical skills. Such a combination ensures not just fulfilled and successful cricketers but contributes to happy fulfilment off the field too.”
"he will undoubtedly bring laughter and much needed positivity through his own very special humour"
Commenting on the announcement, Sarah Fane OBE, the newly appointed Director of MCCF, said: “As we strive to meet the evolving needs and realities of those for whom we provide, it is imperative that our Patrons represent the direction and focus of our work. Stephen’s passion for cricket, his understanding of its positive influence on mental well-being, his own experience of mental illness and his outstanding leadership and work with charities in this field make him an ideal figurehead for the Foundation.
“Beyond that, he will undoubtedly bring laughter and much needed positivity through his own very special humour. We are privileged to have him as our Patron.”
Fry’s appointment follows a busy summer at the Foundation which, at a challenging time for its young participants on and off the field, has partnered with mental health charities, the Charlie Waller Trust (CWT) and Opening Up Cricket.
Commenting on the partnerships, Fane said: “We recognise the mental health issues faced by our young beneficiaries particularly at this time of uncertainty and challenge. We are therefore delighted, on World Mental Health Day, to partner with these two incredible charities to ensure that mental wellbeing sits at the heart of our programmes.”