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 Blind Sport||Leicester-Shire and Rutland Sport|
|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 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|