Posted on 16th June 2020

Sport and recreation sector commit to tackling inequality

The appalling death of George Floyd, the global protests that have followed and the powerful message of the Black Lives Matter movement has made every section of society take notice and confront an ugly truth.


Sport and recreation has an influential role to bring about meaningful change and this period has rightly led the sector to reflect, listen, question, learn and openly discuss how to take positive action.

It is acknowledged that up to this point, we have not done enough.

It is time to confront racism and inequality that exists across sport, from grassroots participation through to the boardroom.

Research by the Sport and Recreation Alliance (2018) showed that four in ten (40%) of BAME participants have endured a negative experience in sport or physical activity settings, more than double that of white participants. 

A 2020 Sport England report demonstrates that just over 50% of black people in England meet the recommended levels of physical activity each week.

The Diversity in Sport Governance report (2018/19) identified there is only 5% BAME board representation across Sport England and UK Sport funded organisations.

Constructive work has already been started to address a number of these problems including a committed effort to increase boardroom diversity, additional funding to tackle inequality and an array of inspiring inclusiveness projects from across the sport and recreation sector. This can only be seen as the start.

Systemic change must be made at all levels so that we can become truly reflective of our wonderfully diverse society. We can no longer rely on black role models at the elite level speaking out, we must join together to become better and to support every member of the sport and recreation community.

We must become more inclusive. We must create opportunities which are truly accessible. We must do more. 

To help us achieve this, there has to be a commitment for a significant increase in resources and funding, as has been dedicated to address other areas of inequality. We have welcomed the recent news of the Sports Minister’s decision to review the Sports Governance Code.

There is no easy solution and change will require a consolidated approach both from within and outside of our sector. It is time to face awkward questions, to become involved in uncomfortable conversations and to hold ourselves to account.

List of Signatories

Activity Alliance England Lacrosse
Active Partnerships England Netball
Angling Trust England Squash
Archery GB English Ice Hockey Association
Associated Board of Dance English Indoor Bowling Association
Association for Physical Education English Karate Federation
Association of British Riding Schools Federation of English Karate Associations
Association of Colleges GB Snowsport
Badminton England Goalball UK
BaseballSoftballUK Golf Club Managers Association
Basketball England Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby
Bowls Development Alliance Ikkaido
Boccia England International Dance Teachers' Association
Bowls England Karate Union of Great Britain
British American Football Kent Sport
British Association for Shooting and Conservation Lawn Tennis Association
British Athletes Commission League Managers Association
British Biathlon Leap
British Blind Sport Leicester-Shire and Rutland Sport
British Canoeing LimbPower
British Cycling London Sport
British Dodgeball London Sports Trust
British Dressage North Yorkshire Sport
British Equestrian Federation Northern Counties Dance Teacher Association
British Eventing Para Dance UK
British Fencing Parkour UK
British Gymnastics Pentathlon GB
British Ice Skating Rounders England
British Judo Association Rugby Football League
British Kite Flying Association Rugby Football Union
British Martial Arts and Boxing Association Skateboard England & Skateboard GB
British Moutaineering Council Snowsport England
British Nordic Walking Sport Across Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent
British Orienteering Sport and Recreation Alliance
British Para Table Tennis SportsAid
British Rowing StreetGames
British Shooting Swim England
British Showjumping Table Tennis England
British Student Taekwondo Federation The British Sub-Aqua Club
British Skydiving The Eton Fives Association
British Taekwondo The Golf Foundation
British Tenpin Bowling Association The Keep Fit Association
British Triathlon The Laban Guild for Movement and Dance
British Universities & Colleges Sport The National Association of Karate and Martial Arts Schools
British Water Ski & Wakeboard The Professional Golfers' Association
British Weight Lifting Trail Riders Fellowship
British Wrestling Triathlon England
EMD UK UK Athletics
England and Wales Cricket Board UK Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association
England Athletics UK Coaching
England Boxing UK Ultimate
England Golf UKA Dance
England Handball Volleyball England
England Hockey Women in Sport
England Korfball Yorkshire Sport Foundation
  Youth Sport Trust