Ethan Bamber presents to a PCA panel

Middlesex cricketer wins award for mental health work

Middlesex cricketer Ethan Bamber has won a Professional Cricketers’ Association Futures Award for Community Spirit, thanks to his work with mental health.

The 24-year-old scooped a £2000 prize for the award after presenting to a panel at the Cheltenham office of sponsors Lodders Solicitors last week.

The awards, which are part of the PCA’s personal development and welfare programme, saw seven finalists present to a panel including representatives of both the PCA and Lodders.

Bamber’s work with cricketing mental health charity, Opening Up Cricket, alongside his work as an educational facilitator for Sporting Chance delivering mental-health sessions were highly commended as he won one of the three awards on offer.

Speaking for the PCA website after the event, he said: “I feel very fortunate to be able to share my story and I hope that I can drive more change around mental health conversations.

“People are aware of Sporting Chance’s helpline through the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, and I would say to people there is always light at the end of the tunnel if they’re struggling because I know what that’s like.

“The awards have been phenomenal and we’re so lucky to have the support of the PCA and Lodders.”

Bamber has sought to discuss the mental impacts of high-level cricket as well as identifying areas where the game can improve.

In conversation with fellow Middlesex cricketer Max Holden for Bamber’s regular Heads in the Game blog, the pair agreed that more needed to be done in the game, citing the fact that Middlesex employed three strength and conditioning coaches but only one part-time psychologist.

In another blog, this time speaking to former England international Steven Finn, Bamber writes: “The phrase ‘it’s okay not to be okay’ has become vogue in recent years, and it carries some weight, recognising the power in acknowledging one’s struggles.

“To begin to take steps forward, however, requires yet more courage.”

It is this willingness to enable others in the game to open up about mental health for which Bamber was commended by the PCA.

He plans to put the £2000 prize towards his university course.

Featured image credit: PCA/Lodders

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