Sport and recreation sector commit to tackling inequality

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Black Lives Matter ()

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 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
Boccia England Ikkaido
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 Canoeing Leap
British Crown Green Bowling Association Leicester-Shire and Rutland Sport
British Cycling LimbPower
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 Shooting StreetGames
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.