In June we acknowledged that, while we’ve already focused much of our work on tackling long-standing inequalities contributing to people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds being far less likely to be physically active, we’ve so much more to do.
Responding to the abhorrent killing of George Floyd, we outlined our support to the Black Lives Matter movement, committing to improving diversity within the sport and physical activity sector.
We identified several areas where we wanted to focus our work and we’ve spent the past few months in wide consultation with colleagues and partners to take decisions on the next steps.
Yesterday, alongside the four other UK sports councils, we announced our role as part of a major piece of work to analyse existing data on racial inequalities and to create an opportunity to listen to more experience of it.
Today, we’re outlining our next steps to not only help and support more people from BAME backgrounds to take part in sport and physical activity, but to support the sector in diversifying its workforce at every level – from leadership, to coaching and administrative roles – and to do much more to stamp out racism and tackle inequalities.
You can read more about our reasoning for this in the latest blog from our chief executive, Tim Hollingsworth.
We’ve just commissioned a complete and independent review of the Equality Standards for Sport.
Launched in 2004, and last reviewed in 2012, the equality standards are a key tool for us to encourage all our partners to better embed equality, diversity and inclusion best practice in all they do.
The review of the standards will bring them much more up to date and help them to better reflect our current realities.
Tackling inequalities fund
The Tackling Inequalities Fund (TIF) forms part of our £210 million support package to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.
The TIF was created to help to reduce the negative impact of coronavirus and the widening of the inequalities in sport and physical activity on specific under-represented groups, including a specific focus on BAME communities.
Through this fund, £20m of National Lottery money is enabling community groups working with these audiences to continue to exist and engage with their communities, with a view to keeping them active during both the lockdown and early recovery stages.
We already fund a number of organisations and projects to support us on our work to make sport and physical activity more inclusive.
The TIF, outlined above, has allowed us to further invest in organisations like Sporting Equals, and other BAME intermediary organisations.
Today, we can confirm further investments into the University of East London (£400,000 supporting a three-year programme to support the development of talented athletes from BAME groups) and the British Basketball League (£200,000 for their community development programme).
And we’ll continue to communicate further investment and interventions that support organisations who are heavily involved in supporting BAME communities.
Identifying the need to create a more diverse and inclusive talent pathway, that would ultimately lead to British and English teams being representative of the entire nation, in 2019 we published the first ever Talent Plan for England.
Since its launch, we’ve been working on systemic change within national governing body talent systems with the relevant leaders. We’ve also been investing in separate inclusion projects outside the system, alongside specific work with the Talent Inclusion Advisory Group (such as the recently agreed partnership with the University of East London and the African Caribbean Engagement (ACE) programme with Surrey County Cricket Club and the England and Wales Cricket Board).