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 Squash|
|Active Partnerships||England Touch Association|
|Angling Trust||English Amateur Dancesport Association|
|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||GreaterSport|
|Bowls England||Inclusive Skating|
|British American Football||International Dance Teachers' Association|
|British Association for Shooting and Conservation||Karate Union of Great Britain|
|British Athletes Commission||Kent Sport|
|British Biathlon||Lawn Tennis Association|
|British Blind Sport||League Managers Association|
|British Crown Green Bowling Association||Leicester-Shire and Rutland Sport|
|British Dodgeball||London Sport|
|British Dragon Boat Racing Association||London Sports Trust|
|British Dressage||Mountain Training England|
|British Equestrian Federation||Mountain Training Trust|
|British Eventing||North Yorkshire Sport|
|British Fencing||Northern Counties Dance Teacher Association|
|British Gymnastics||Para Dance UK|
|British Horseracing Authority||Parkour UK|
|British Ice Skating||Pentathlon GB|
|British Judo Association||Rounders England|
|British Ju-Jitsu 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||Stoolball England|
|British Showjumping||Swim England|
|British Student Taekwondo Federation||Table Tennis England|
|British Skydiving||The British Horse Society|
|British Taekwondo||The British Sub-Aqua Club|
|British Tenpin Bowling Association||The Eton Fives Association|
|British Triathlon||The Golf Foundation|
|British Universities & Colleges Sport||The Keep Fit Association|
|British Water Ski & Wakeboard||The Laban Guild for Movement and Dance|
|British Weight Lifting||The National Association of Karate and Martial Arts Schools|
|British Wrestling||The Professional Golfers' Association|
|EMD UK||Trail Riders Fellowship|
|Endurance GB||Triathlon England|
|England and Wales Cricket Board||UK Athletics|
|England Athletics||UK Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association|
|England Boxing||UK Coaching|
|England Golf||UK Ultimate|
|England Handball||UKA Dance|
|England Hockey||Volleyball England|
|England Korfball||Women in Sport|
|England Lacrosse||Yorkshire Sport Foundation|
|England Netball||Youth Sport Trust|
*Many organisations in the sector have released, or plan to release, individual statements. The signatories above have confirmed their support to this statement released by the Sport and Recreation Alliance.