Breaking Boundaries in Manchester - Spotlight on James Badrock, Community Coordinator

Breaking Boundaries is a three-year programme (2018 –2021) funded by Spirit of 2012, supported by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and The Institute of Community Cohesion (Icoco).

It aims to socially connect young people, their families and communities together through regular cricket engagement, fostering mutual respect and friendships by playing, spectating and volunteering.  It is being delivered in 5 cities; Bradford, Birmingham, London (Barking and Dagenham), Manchester and Slough.

We are getting to know James Badrock, 26, Community Coordinator with Breaking Boundaries in Manchester

James Badrock

What difference do you hope to make as Breaking Boundaries Community Coordinator?   

I hope that I am able to bring two different groups of people together who have never spoken before. This could be as simple as creating an interaction with two people who live on the same street but do not know one another.  

What do you think is key to bringing communities together? 

Creating the first engagement to break down any preconceived ideas different members of the community may have of each other. Through initiating this first connection, it allows a chance for members of the community to establish common ground and similar interests. This will then hopefully provide a foundation for developing lasting connections.  

What's been your best moment of Breaking Boundaries so far? 

I have only recently joined the Breaking Boundaries team during the lockdown period, so haven't had the opportunity to experience some of the best moments which I have heard the project creates. However, seeing what the communities have been doing during these tough times and how they are pulling together to help one another has been great.  

What advice did you give to people on how to stay socially connected in their communities during lockdown? 

Utilise the internet! The safest way to stay connected with friends, family and community members is to use platforms like Zoom for video calls.  

A part of Breaking Boundaries is getting to know individuals and find things we have in common, let's ask James some questions that can be asked as icebreakers when getting to know other people

What's your first sporting memory? 

One of my first memories was when David Beckham scored that free kick against Greece to send England through to the 2002 World Cup. I still remember celebrating it in my front room with my parents. 

What are you looking forward to doing after lockdown? 

Catching up with friends that I have not been able to see for a while. Hopefully playing a few cricket games at the back end of this summer, whether or not this will happen at the moment is an uncertainty. I would also love to go on holiday to find some sun for a few weeks

Do you have a fun fact about yourself? 

I have an identical twin brother. A lot of people don't know this and often see the other in public which can sometimes make for an awkward interaction.  

If you could visit anywhere in the world where would you go? 

New Zealand – have had a number of friends go there and the pictures look amazing. Hopefully I will be able to make a trip there soon.  

Who's your favourite cricketer? 

In recent times it would have to be Ben Stokes after his heroics in the World Cup final and the 4th day of the Headingley test, where he carried England to a famous win. Previously it would have to be Andrew Flintoff. I grew up watching him play for Lancashire and England.  

and last but not least what level spice do you order at Nando's? 

Always medium, I haven't been brave enough to try anything hotter in the fear that I may not like it!  

Thanks James!