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Sport and recreation sector commit to tackling inequality

June 16th 2020
Vicky Sartain

In the wake of the appalling death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, 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.

The Sport + Recreation Alliance (SRA) has issued a statement (14 June) that addresses current failures concerned with fair treatment and representation of Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals within sport, from grassroots level to the boardroom.

Archery GB, along with more than 80 other sport governing bodies, has endorsed the statement, which also acknowledges the influential role that sport and recreation has in bringing about meaningful change, and that this period has rightly led the sector to reflect, listen, question, learn and openly discuss how to take positive action. It is now recognised that relying solely on the positive impact of elite sport’s black role models is not enough.

Research by the SRA (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.

The SRA statement goes on to say: ‘Systemic change must be made at all levels so that we can become truly reflective of our wonderfully diverse society. 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.’

Change will require a consolidated approach both from within and outside of our sector, say the SRA, which will mean it is time for everyone in sport to: ‘face awkward questions, to become involved in uncomfortable conversations and to hold ourselves to account’.

The list of sports bodies that have endorsed this statement can be seen below:

Activity Alliance England Korfball
Angling Trust England Lacrosse
Archery GB England Netball
Associated Board of Dance England Squash
Association for Physical Education English Ice Hockey Association
Association of British Riding Schools English Indoor Bowling Association
Association of Colleges English Karate Federation
Badminton England Federation of English Karate Associations
BaseballSoftballUK Goalball UK
Basketball England Golf Club Managers Association
Bowls Development Alliance Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby
Boccia England Ikkaido
Bowls England International Dance Teachers’ Association
British American Football Karate Union of Great Britain
British Association for Shooting and Conservation Kent Sport
British Athletes Commission Lawn Tennis Association
British Biathlon League Managers Association
British Blind Sport Leap
British Canoeing Leicester-Shire and Rutland Sport
British Cycling LimbPower
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 Swim England
British Rowing Table Tennis England
British Shooting The British Sub-Aqua Club
British Showjumping The Eton Fives Association
British Student Taekwondo Federation The Golf Foundation
British Skydiving The Keep Fit Association
British Taekwondo The Laban Guild for Movement and Dance
British Tenpin Bowling Association The National Association of Karate and Martial Arts Schools
British Triathlon The Professional Golfers’ Association
British Universities & Colleges Sport Trail Riders Fellowship
British Water Ski & Wakeboard Triathlon England
British Weight Lifting UK Athletics
British Wrestling UK Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association
EMD UK UK Ultimate
England and Wales Cricket Board UKA Dance
England Athletics Volleyball England
England Boxing Women in Sport
England Golf Yorkshire Sport Foundation
England Handball Youth Sport Trust
England Hockey

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