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A manifesto for change in sport

CALL TO EMBRACE DIVERSITY: A panel discussion during the Manifesto For Change event

SPORTING EQUALS and Sport England’s recently appointed CEO Tim Hollingsworth launched ‘A Manifesto For Change’ in central London last month.

Hosted at the global headquarters of Pinsent Masons, the Government’s ‘Sporting Futures’ strategy sets out a bold and ambitious direction for sport and policy with Sport England’s ‘Towards an Active Nation’ calling for the need to embrace diversity and change to get the nation active.

Sports organisations have been challenged by Sport England to tackle under representation at all levels to reflect the society we live in.

While there have been positive developments in numerous sports, the work is not complete.

The ‘Race Equality in Sport and Physical Activity: A Manifesto for Change’ initiative will act as a catalyst for change enabling sports bodies to make meaningful impact within the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

ON BOARD: The Voice of Sport’s Rodney Hinds pledges his support during the recent launch

The Charter is comprised of three principles (capture; commit and celebrate) and is a call for sports bodies to ensure that they are making a real and conscious effort to tackle the barriers that BAME people and communities face as well as actively working towards a truly representative and inclusive sector.

To help tackle the barriers facing BAME communities in sport and physical activity the Charter encourages sports bodies to capture ethnicity data and intelligence.

This is important to enable sports bodies to establish a baseline position and measure their progress over time.

Regular monitoring and publication of progress is also a crucial step towards an organisation being perceived as open and transparent.

Commit to tackling underrepresentation. Adopting appropriate policy and practice at all levels within organisations to increase opportunities and participation.

Committing to this Charter will support those taking part in developing a better understanding of BAME communities and how to engage with them more effectively.

Celebrate positive role models. Highlighting and promoting positive BAME role models in elite and grassroots sport goes a long way in gaining trust and promoting positive perceptions among BAME communities.

The Charter will urge all sports organisations to shine a light on BAME talent to help inspire the next generation.

Arun Kang, CEO at Sporting Equals, said: “The charter will be a real catalyst for change. It allows sport organisations to work at their own pace but gather baseline data to analyse areas for improvement and measure their successes, in the interventions they make.

“I’m pleased with the support we have had for the Charter and I’m certain governing bodies of sport will welcome this opportunity to sign the Charter and work towards race equality and more ethnic diversity across sport”.

Scott Lloyd, CEO of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), said: “We are really proud to be the first organisation to commit to this important Charter.

“The LTA’s new vision is to open up tennis to as many people and communities as possible, and I want tennis to lead the way in promoting ethnic diversity in sport.

“We already work closely with Sporting Equals through our ground-breaking SERVES programme that takes tennis right to the heart of urban and disadvantaged communities, but we know we have more work to do.

“Signing up to the Charter is a real demonstration of our desire to take our plans to the next level and truly make tennis a sport for all.”

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