Talent inclusion

Creating an environment which is inclusive and where prohibitive barriers have been identified and actively removed

We want to ensure England Talent Pathways (ETPs) are accessible to everyone who has the ability and potential regardless of background or circumstance.

Presently, many sports would appear to be unsuccessful in identifying and recruiting talent from under-represented groups in the UK, which is ultimately narrowing the potential pool of talent.

In addition to the potential performance gains of drawing from a wider pool of talent, we want to make our national teams more reflective of the population, so they are more relevant to the nation.

The key task is to ensure we create a system that seeks to identify and remove prohibitive barriers (those that may disproportionately affect the progression of athletes from certain groups or backgrounds) and thereby enable anyone who has the characteristics and ability, required to succeed, to fulfil their potential.

What do we mean by inclusion in talent pathways?

Inclusion in talent does not mean: Inclusion intalent does mean: Example:
You have to forfeit winning medals or creating a high performing environment.
Renewed emphasis on the culture and environment created within talent pathways. You should be open and flexible to accommodating athletes’ needs and feel comfortable asking athletes about themselves and how you can help them to train and perform optimally. Thinking about being inclusive doesn’t detract from striving and training hard. Athletes should feel comfortable being open about themselves. If, for example,it’s Ramadan, you may need to adapt the training demands of an athlete whois fasting, or have a conversation with an athlete about how best to accommodate their schedule of prayers.
You have to match the UK/England demographics of age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and gender identity to the exact percentage. You should know who’s in your talent pathway and know who your wider participants are so you can understand barriers that prevent people progressing into your talent system. This knowledge will help you attract participants, develop athletes in your talent system and increase your talent pool. By understanding the demographics of young participants in your sport and ETP, you can uncover patterns in behaviour. You may notice that females drop out at critical lifestyle transitions. You could address the issue by focusing lifestyle support around transitions and thereby retain more female athletes in your sport.
You cannot create challenging training sessions for athletes or implement demanding training schedules. That you create an open and inclusive environment where a group that is under-represented would not feel‘out of place’ or unwelcome when taking part in your sport. Athletes should be able to be themselves in a sport environment. For example, an LGBT athlete would feel comfortable being ‘out’ in the changing room as the environment allows people to be themselves – by ensuring that any homophobic/biphobic/transphobic language is immediately challenged and made clear it’s not tolerated.
To increase take-up of your sport by people from lower socio-economic groups, you have to fund training,travel and equipment. You should know who in your pathway may be having difficulties which stem from their financial circumstances.You should carefully consider the geography of talent hubs and training activity and consider its impact on the progression of talented athletes from all parts of England. By knowing who in your ETP may be affected by their financial circumstances you would, for example, be able to apply for funding awards for athletes such as Backing the Best. You may be able to partner with organisations or businesses to provide equipment at a lower cost and adapt training schedules to cater for athletes who may have to use public transport to get to training.